Business Ethics Case Study: The 23andme

1140 Words 5 Pages
The 23andMe mission is to help people access, understand, and benefit from the human genome (“Our Mission,” n.d.). However, the Food and Drug Administration’s concerns regarding our at-home genetic reports could jeopardize the company’s ability to fulfill this mission. There are limited options in resolving this matter; we can meet regulatory standards and earn FDA approval, completely abandon the at-home reports and seek another way to fulfill the 23andMe mission, or continue to provide these reports and escalate the situation with the FDA. After careful consideration of the benefits and risks for the company, adapting the at-home reports to meet regulatory standards will resolve the issues with the FDA, fulfill the company’s mission, and …show more content…
The social bottom line is comprised of many factors, but the one of most concern in this case is the health and safety of consumers. As a company, 23andMe provides these tests and reports to help people – it says so directly in our mission statement. If we make decisions to the detriment of our consumers health and safety, we are failing as the company we strive to be. If the company continues to send out reports despite the risks, we are ignoring our mission, potentially harming consumers, opening ourselves up to litigation, and eroding the relationship and trust we have established. If our product hurts more people than it helps, it will cripple our social bottom line, and the decrease in credibility and increase in legal fees will worsen our financial bottom line as well. While abandoning the at-home reports and attempting a different approach may be a less destructive alternative, the front-running option of adapting to meet regulatory standards would likely improve our social bottom line. Becoming FDA approved is an indication of the care we have for the well-being of our consumers, and this care bolsters the company’s …show more content…
In examining the social bottom line, we have considered our ethical obligation to our consumers, but we should also remove the self-interested lens of ethical egoism and consider our ethical obligation to societal moral rules and the law. While proceeding to distribute at-home reports in spite of the FDA may not necessarily break the law, it disrespects the authority of a government agency dedicated to protecting the public’s health. Ignoring the FDA is a deviation from the norms that have been democratically adopted for the greater good of American society, and therefore unethical per rule utilitarianism. Meeting regulatory standards for the at-home reports or discontinuing their use are more ethical options that abide by these societal rules. Arguably, fulfilling the company’s mission of helping people access and understand their genome would generate more net good for society than abandoning the reports entirely, therefore increasing the company’s ethical obligation to produce safe and effective

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