“The main ethical issue is whether it is right to steal or not to steal when one is faced with hardship.” The main issue that is brought about in this case is, whether the old woman was justified to steal and what are the consequences that the woman should face. It also brings out a set of dilemma in the sense that, the law says it’s illegal to steal and on the other side the prevailing circumstance that made incident to take place. The stakeholders involved in this case are; the shop owner, the old woman and the police. Those who will be affected by the decision  that will be made out of this case include; the business community, the less fortunate and law arm of the government.

They are various courses of action that the woman would have taken in trying to solve her problem. This includes seeking for help from NGO’S , explain her situation to the owner or visiting a public hospital where medication is free. The action of her stealing brings about the question of morality. According to St Thomas Aquinas “Good is to be done and pursued, and evil avoided.” This point will be argued by store owner where the evil committed should not be tolerated because they  she had no had no moral authority to violate the owner’s rights. The woman’s point of view is she had no other option of getting the drugs which she really required. The policeman has a duty to implement the law accordingly without favor of anyone. Now the question of ethics and human morality comes into question. Is it right to punish a person who was trying to save her life by stealing medicine?.The right to live is inalienable and every person has the moral obligation to preserve it. The center of moral obligation is to respect other peoples’ rights even if yours is broken. The way we treat others is because of our natural rights (John Locke).

In my conclusion. As a police officer I would pardon the woman on the basis of her prevail circumstances but also make sure she does  work for the owner for violating his rights and compensating money for the medicine. A strong warning should be sent out to deter others from doing the same.