Are You A Liar ?

Monday, June 17, 2013

Heidi Cox, Gladney’s General Counsel, led an Ethics discussion at the NCFA conference last week. She has taught and researched Ethics extensively. Her comments are provocative and usually cause uncomfortable introspection.

In last Friday’s session, she basically said “We all lie”. My immediate reaction was “Not me!” Another colleague posed this situation: If I knew a birthmother was in the dorm at Gladney, and the birthfather came to Gladney, had a gun, and asked me if she was there, what would I do? I’m fairly certain I would lie to protect her.

Some principles we consider absolutes (“I don’t lie”) can be trumped by even bigger issues (the life of a birthmother).

My concern is that once any of us acknowledge that we could lie under an extreme circumstance, it can become a slippery slope.

Let me offer an example. A birth date on the document of a little girl in Ethiopia is entered incorrectly. It’s a “3”, but should be an “8”. If a caseworker makes the edit by simply rounding out the “3” to an “8”, the girl avoids a further 30 - 60 day delay in coming home to a permanent loving family.

As painful as it is to say this, I would not want our caseworker to make that simple edit. That is the start of the slippery slope.

Your thoughts ?

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