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To break a promise or to lie?

May 18th, 2017 No comments

I was faced with this dilemma recently. To break a promise to a friend in extreme mental distress or to lie. I chose to break the promise. This meant ensuring the people charged with caring for her were fully appraised of her suicidal thoughts and actions –  something she and other friends had lied about. As she barely has the capacity to decide if she wants to have a boiled egg for breakfast at the moment, I decided the moral and ethical resolution was to raise the issue at a meeting of all concerned and give those who had lied the chance to be truthful. They did this, though not straightforwardly. Had they not I would have reported what I knew. Sometimes being a friend means hard decisions.

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