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Ethical Dilemma: College Admission Essay Sample

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Ron is an elderly stroke victim who lives alone in a subsidized apartment in downtown Palo Alto. I assisted Ron with daily tasks such as cleaning the apartment, doing laundry, and going to the store. One day, I took Ron to Longs Drugs to buy food and daily supplies. I had gone to the bank with him the previous week to check his account balance, but his lack of spending money had not registered in my mind. He asked me to wheel him to the telephone aisle. He picked up a box and struggled to put it into his bag behind the wheelchair, so I helped him. At the cash register, I placed the items from the shopping basket onto the counter and then proceeded to reach for the phone in his bag. He grabbed my hand and said, “No. No.” I saw the frustrated expression on his face and realized that he was not going to pay for the phone. Why would he put me into such a position? I handed Ron’ debit card to the cashier to pay for the other items and then wheeled him out of the store with the phone in the bag. At his apartment, I sat down, obviously upset by the situation. He looked at me and genuinely said, “Thank you.” I told him, “You’re welcome, but I can’t do that again.”

As I replayed the incident in my mind, I felt guilty that I physically wheeled a man out of a store with a shoplifted item. I spoke to program director Ms. Pearson about the incident and Ron’s financial situation. I asked her if the program could do anything to help him. She spoke to Ron and sent a financial advisor to help him organize his spending.

Before the incident, I had believed being a moral person simply meant choosing “right” over “wrong.” I learned that the attitudes and responses to a difficult situation, rather than the choices themselves, define a person’s character. I cared for Ron and desired to help him through his difficulties without interfering with his privacy or compromising his dignity. As a future physician, I will face both personal and professional difficulties that I cannot resolve on my own. I have learned the importance of seeking the wisdom of my colleagues and working together to determine the best course of action.

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Ethical Dilemma: College Admission Essay Sample. (2018, April 25). GradesFixer. Retrieved January 26, 2022, from
“Ethical Dilemma: College Admission Essay Sample.” GradesFixer, 25 Apr. 2018,
Ethical Dilemma: College Admission Essay Sample. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 26 Jan. 2022].
Ethical Dilemma: College Admission Essay Sample [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2018 Apr 25 [cited 2022 Jan 26]. Available from:
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