Ethical Issues Concerning Performance Enhancing Drugs

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Ethical dilemmas are a part of everyday life in our culture. People are often confronted with circumstances that make their decision-making process difficult. Someone who is starving, for example, will find it difficult to choose between stealing food and remaining in the same situation until they find their rightful food. Moral values, on the other hand, often direct people's behavior in such situations. Moral values are often influenced by one's philosophy or religious beliefs about a specific course of action. One who faces an ethical dilemma should deem whatever they see as the best course of action by following their conviction about what they believe to be a moral decision.
Ethical Dilemma
The ethical dilemma concerns a young athlete, Paul, who faces the challenge of having to make the decision on whether to use a performance enhancing drug or not. Paul has been in the starting position of the team that he belongs to and would wish to continue with the same. However, he seems to lose his starting position because some of his teammates are using a particular drug that has enhanced their physiques, thereby, making it possible for them to beat Paul and deny him the starting position. Currently, the drug is not illegal as the authorities cannot detect it. The coach who is also aware of the use of narcotics among the athletes has decided not to intervene. Paul is worried about the new development and is even confused by the fact that a friend even offered him a sample of the same drug.
The fact that the athletics authorities cannot detect the usage of the drug in the blood system and that it is not declared illegal makes the scenario tough for Paul to make a decision. Nevertheless, Paul only has two options in case he remains on the team. Paul has to either take the drug or refuse to use the substance and concentrate in his practice as usual. If he chooses to use the drug, he would be relying on the idea that the product is not declared illegal and that other athletes are also using the same. On the other hand, the decision not to use the drug will be based on the ethical principle that an athlete should not use any drug to enhance their performance. Therefore, he would only resort to practicing hard to challenge the teammates.
Core Beliefs
Several beliefs about God and humanity are relevant towards making the decision on whether to use the drug or not. First, it is against God and wrong for humankind to cheat someone or lie to oneself. In the case that one uses the drug, then he already tricks the authority by gaining success wrongfully (The Holy Bible n.p). Apparently, one needs to be truthful given that the athletics rules stipulate against the use of performance enhancement drugs by the athletes.
Second, God warns against destroying one's life which is possible through taking such a drug. The drug might have dangerous side effects, thereby, contradicting the teaching of God as seen in the Christian Bible, 1st Corinthians 3:16-17 where He states that no one should destroy their body for it is the temple of the Lord (The Holy Bible n.p). Third, it is wrong not to expose evil deeds. Ephesians 5:11 warns against participating in evil things and recommends that one exposes the same should they become aware.
The core worldview commitments of Christians are critical in the scenario facing Paul as they help make a decision. Apparently, Paul would easily avoid the use of the substance if he is a committed Christian and uses the teachings in making the decision. From the Bible lessons, he can also decide to report the matter to the concerned authorities to help deal with the apparent vice.
Given the fact that it is against God to cheat and to destroy one's body, in this case by taking harmful substances, it is only Christian that Paul avoids taking the drug. After that, Paul might have several options to explore as a Christian. First, he might have to quit the team and join another one because he faces unfair competition from those who use the drug. Second, Paul may decide to continue practicing as a team member and pray that he retains his starting role despite the challenges (The Holy Bible n.p). Third, he might need to raise the issue to the concerned authorities so that the drug is declared illegal. Therefore, it would not be appropriate for any of the teammates to continue taking the narcotic. Moreover, Paul will not be tempted to consume the substance.
For a Christian, the best course of action will be to avoid using the drug and to report the same to the concerned authorities. The move will help one to avoid cheating by taking the drug that facilitates unfair results and victory. One would also avoid destroying their body that is declared as the temple of God following the Christian teachings (The Holy Bible n.p). Lastly, one would refuse to associate with the evil by avoiding taking the drugs and by exposing the vice to the authorities that have stated that the athletes should not use drugs with the performance enhancement effects.
In the case where one decides not to take the substances and to report the matter to the legal athletics authorities, there are several unintended consequences and benefits that such a person might experience. Regarding the consequences, one might lose the chance to win a competition or even represent the team because the rest who use the drug might perform better (Guimaraes-Ferreira, et al. 29). Reporting of the case might also create enmity between the party and the victims who go against the stated rules.
Meanwhile, the benefits will include the avoidance of the adverse side effects that might result from the consumption of such a substance. For example, some of the side effects of such drugs might include addiction and reduced fertility among the users. One might also benefit from reporting the case by having a fair competition where they are likely to become victorious (Shan et al. 1257) For instance, the authorities might deal with the culprits and give a chance for those who want to compete without any illegal facilitation.
Apart from the Christian worldview of refusing to use such drugs, Paul could resort to the use of such substance. However, the use of such a substance will not be ethically right because it results in going against the Athletics rules. Besides, it would lead to unfair competition for the other athletes who do not use the same performance enhancement product.
The second option of using the drug also has got consequences and benefits. With regards to the benefits, one is likely to become victorious in the competitions. In the case of Paul, he would easily retain his starting position in the team. Nevertheless, such people might face legal actions that include a ban on further competitions or even jail terms if the authorities discover the mischief. Additionally, they might suffer from the adverse side effects such as addiction that is usually common with drugs.
Despite the differences between the two options, there is one similarity between them. It is likely that one might win a competition in either way. If one decides to take the drug, the performance will be enhanced and would perform better than those who refuse to take the drug (Thornton, Champion, and Larry 67). On the other hand, those who fail to take the drug but goes ahead to report the same will have the culprits banned from the competitions, thus, increasing their chances of winning. Therefore, Paul might retain his starting role if he decides on either way.
The ethical dilemma that faces Paul only presents to him two options of either taking the drug or refuse the same. However, his decision would be based on his moral conviction. As a Christian, Paul might comply with the teachings of God and avoid taking the drug and go ahead to report the case. Therefore, he would prevent the destruction of his body, cheating, and associating with an evil activity. On the other hand, he could decide to take the drugs because of the apparent benefit of retaining his starting position within the team. Nevertheless, he will have to suffer from the likely negative side effects and the possible legal actions.

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_x005F Works Cited
Guimaraes-Ferreira, Lucas, Silva Dantas, Wagner, Hisashi Murai, Igor, and Nelo Eidy Zanchi. Chapter 3: Performance enhancement drugs and sports supplements for resistance training. In Nutrition and Enhanced Sports Performance, 2013, p. 29.
Shan, Ning et al. "Impact of Pharmaceutical Cocrystals: The Effects on Drug Pharmacokinetics". Expert Opinion on Drug Metabolism & Toxicology, vol. 10, no. 9, 2014, pp. 1255-1271. Informa Healthcare, doi:10.1517/17425255.2014.942281.
The Holy Bible, King James Version. New York: American Bible Society: 1999
Thornton, Patrick K, Walter T. Champion, and Larry Ruddell. Sports Ethics for Sports Management Professionals. Sudbury, MA: Jones & Bartlett, 2012.

August 31, 2021



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