Interview three children of different ages (ages 8 – 18) who are relatives or friends and pose the following scenario to them:

In Europe, a woman is near death from a special kind of cancer.  There is one drug that the doctors think might save her.  It is a form of radium that a druggist in the same town has recently discovered. The drug is expensive to make, but the druggist is charging ten times what the drug cost him to make. He paid $200 for the radium and is charging $2000 for a small dose of the drug.  The sick woman’s husband, Heinz, goes to everyone he knows to borrow the money, but he can get together only about $1000, which is half of what it costs. He tells the druggist that his wife is dying and asks him to sell the drug cheaper or let him pay later. The druggist says, “No, I discovered the drug and I’m going to make money from it.” Heinz is desperate and considers breaking into the man’s store to steal the drug for his wife.

Ask children the following questions:

a.            Should Heinz steal the drug? Why or why not?

b.            If Heinz does not love his wife, should he steal the drug for her? Why or why not?

c.             Suppose the person dying is not his wife but a stranger. Should Heinz steal the drug for a             stranger? Why or why not?

d.            (If the respondent favors stealing the drug for a stranger): Suppose it is a pet animal he loves.   Should Heinz steal to save the pet animal? Why or why not?

e.            Why should people do everything they can to save another’s life, anyway?

f.             It is against the law for Heinz to steal. Does that make it morally wrong? Why or why not?

g.            Why should people generally do everything they can to avoid breaking the law?

In gathering your data, keep track of the age and gender of each of the respondents. Classify each child into the appropriate stage of Kohlberg’s theory.

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