An ethical issue brings systems of morality and principles into conflict. Unlike most conflicts that can be disputed with facts and objective truths, ethical issues are more subjective and open to opinions and interpretation.
According to the BBC, ethics is a branch of philosophy that deals with the ways in which people should live their lives. Ethical issues must be dealt with when examining these philosophies. Ethical issues often deal with what is right and what is wrong, what is good and what is bad, and what rights and responsibilities people should have. The general goal of ethics is to enable people to live good lives.
The problem with ethical issues, such as whether capital punishment should be allowed or the morality of euthanasia, is that there generally is no single accepted answer. These ethical issues are hotly debated because the answer generally comes down to personal opinion or philosophy. Ethics can give more than one answer, and sometimes that answer is not universally correct.
Ethical issues are often at the center of the debate when it comes to social issues. Groups argue that things are moral or immoral, and they create an ethical debate to support their argument. Ethical guidelines can come from personal philosophy, religion and government.