Scenarios provide the primary way to practice the 8KQ ethical reasoning strategy. Distinct from case studies, which call for ethical judgments about what a person or an organization did poorly, scenarios are reality-based thought experiments that place the individual or group in situations as decision-maker(s). The 8KQ ethical reasoning strategy encourages checking automatic intuitions, pausing to ask questions, and weighing multiple ethical considerations before deciding and acting. Best practiced in diverse groups, participants develop better-informed decisions by asking the full range of ethical questions from different perspectives and viewpoints. 

The following scenarios invite applying all Eight Key Questions.


Hurricane Sharon

Hurricane Sharon, the first scenario developed for the It's Complicated program, was used 2013-2015 with incoming first-year students during 1787 August Orientation, and has been used with many audiences including alumni, new employees, and external organizations. This fictional ethical scenario places participants as FEMA teams in the center of making decisions about limited resources available to six geograhic areas affected by a hurricane. Hurricane Sharon - Text and Video


After a call to students, faculty, staff, and alumni for new case ideas, we recevied several submissions related to containing a potentially deadly virus (around the time of an Ebola outbreak in Africa). From these combined submissions, we created Contagion, a fictional ethical scenario about a Meningitis B outbreak originating at a camp on the east coast of the U.S. that was host to several visitors including high school students from the New England area, doctors from all over the world, army reservists, inner city children, and environmental researchers. As these groups of people left the camp, it becamse apparent they were ill and were potentially exposing others to MenB. There are a limited number of MenB vaccines available. Although the vaccines cannot help those already infected, the CDC team must decide where to send the vaccines to contain the Contagion. Contagion - Text and Video


The opioid epidemic continues to be a major public health and economic issue. In this fictional scenario, Overdose, a university receives an offer of free emergency opioid overdose reversal medication, Narcan. Should the university accept the offer of the life-saving medication? In this scenario, rather than considering the ethics of resource allocation, the decision makers (student government representatives) must weigh the "moral hazards" with the benefits of making Narcan available. Overdose - Text and Video 


After the toll the COVID-19 pandemic took on the mental health of people around the world, AI-Care adresses the growing demand for counseling services at America’s colleges and universities. This fictional scenario asks: should a university provide student access to an artificially intelligent chat-bot app, AI-Care, to suppliment the growing demand for mental health services on campus? AI-Care - Text and Video

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