Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Black, White and Shades of Gray

One of my favorite television shows is Scrubs. I think I've seen every episode at least 3 times (my hubby would say more like 10 times!!). The writing is incredible and if you pay attention, they will give you some interesting perspectives and things to think about.

As a college professor, one of the classes I teach is Business Ethics. This class never fails to spark animated discussions, as students quickly realize that there are two sides to every story and all things aren't always black and white. They are usually shades of gray.

Executive Pay - Shades of Gray
Bailouts - Shades of Gray
Taxcuts - Shades of Gray
Government Spending - Shades of Gray

To highlight this to the students, I always show them a clip from Scrubs. The clip is about an uninsured patient that needs a procedure done. My question to the students? Who is right - the doctor or the Chief of Medicine.

Do you think everything is black and white? I invite you to view the clip (it's less than 2 minutes long) and let me know: Who is right?


  1. They are both right! And on any given day I could argue the side of either. The reality is that in life, most issues have "shades of gray", "extenuating circumstances", "special considerations", etc., etc. Murder is wrong. (Black) However, if a mother kills a pedophile raping her 6 year old daugher....still wrong?? Maybe.....but it could certainly be viewed as justifiable. (Grey)

  2. I agree, no issue is purely black or white, or all or nothing. It really depends on the circumstances. i think it is up to us to determine how, as individuals, it suits our needs and conscience

  3. I live in shades of gray! Most people's perspective of a situation is based on moral, religious beliefs or their environment.

  4. It's amazing how many people can say with confidence what "the answer" is - to fix healthcare, the deal with economy, or how to raise a family. But I agree with all of you - no clear answers.