Mary Thompson saw Tom being cut down with a machete. She lied to the authorities when they questioned her about the incident and the unfortunate occurrence. She insisted that she remained silent. An anthropologist named Thompson was present to study a South-East Asian civilization. She asserted that she adhered to the morality statement’s sixth clause, which states that researchers have a responsibility to safeguard their records. It is the obligation of researchers to safeguard the security of their primary data, including field notes, samples, and recordings (Taher 4). To divert law enforcement from her investigation, Thompson claimed she knew nothing about the situation. However, I do not agree with her stand. There is no reason why someone should walk away with murder. The law says that researchers should be truthful and open with their work; they should make their results accessible to the public (Taher 3).
Life is precious and should be treated as so. Human life is more important than any career. The fact that the murderer is still free and Thompson is not willing to tell the whole story puts more innocent people in danger. Tom had a family and they have a right to know what happened to him; they need to get closure. Sending the police on a wild goose chase while you have evidence that can lead to the arrest of the actual killer is immoral. There is no humane person who would choose their career over the life of a family member. Therefore, Thompson should put herself in the shoes of Tom’s family. Would she be happy if someone close to her were killed and someone refused to provide the relevant evidence to the police? As an anthropologist, she has to protect her work. However, murder is a serious crime that should not go unanswered. She could give the slightest clues such as hearing noises instead of saying she knew nothing. Thompson might be comfortable with her story but her decision could cause serious damage in the future (Haynie 4).
There is the notion that giving away the details of the murder could jeopardize her research; I do not agree with this fact (Haynie 2). There are claims that observing someone being killed could be part of the research. I do not think any murderer would let someone watch them commit the crime; this means that if the murderer did not see her she was free to tell the police what she knew since the killer did not know her. She was a witness to a murder and her testimony would be helpful in solving the case. Thompson could also be placed under a witness protection program to hide her identity from the killer. Also the argument that withholding such information is protecting the people lacks merit. How do you protect a community by letting a killer roam freely? In addition to this, her findings on the community would eventually be public information. As such, refusing to reveal details of the murder as a way of protecting the information is not logical.
In conclusion, Thompson has a responsibility to protect her research. However, human life is sacred and valuable. The best way to protect a community against harm is to provide information about criminals to the police. Currently, there are ways to be a witness in a case without revealing one’s identity. Therefore, the danger of the criminal’s friends attacking the witness is minimal.
Haynie. “Ethics: Witness to Murder.” 2017.
Taher. “Ethics Statement Review: Case 11.” 2017.