Lesson 029: Admitting guilt to upper management
TV Series: Star Trek - The Next Generation
Season/Episode: 6/22 ('Suspicions')


Dr. Beverly Crusher, the Chief Medical Officer on board the Enterprise, suspects that the death of an alien Ferengi scientist was not accidental, but rather, murder.

Believing that only an autopsy will prove her point, she performs an illegal autopsy. She does this in direct defiance of Capt. Picard's order, denying her autopsy request, due to the Ferengi cultural custom of prohibiting any autopsies being performed on Ferengi people.

Immediately after performing the autopsy, which yields no definitive results, Dr. Crusher goes directly to Capt. Picard and admits her wrong doing and tells him she is ready to accept any punishment for her actions.


When someone, especially management or anyone in authority, deliberately commits a wrongful act, ethically, morally or legally, the worst thing they can do to exacerbate the situation is to not admit their culpability or try to deny their actions and create a cover-up.

Only by taking immediate responsibility for their actions can the guilty party ever hope to gain any sympathy from others.

By informing management first personally and explaining the reasons for their actions, the guilty party gains favor comes judgment time, as opposed to management finding out on their own about the erroneous actions from other sources.

Worst of all, if the management is going to be held accountable for the actions of the guilty party, then the management's previous lack of knowledge of the actions will not only embarrass the management, but may also compound the degree of penalty pronounced upon them for being the supervisors of the one having committed the guilty actions.

There should be no hesitation in admitting to having committed any actions openly, if one believes the actions were truly justified, regardless of the consequences.

By remaining silent, however, acceptance of the guilt in the complicity of the actions is implied and will lead to unfavorable decisions.

To voluntarily admit or to not admit having committed something, is the easiest question to ask oneself before undertaking any action that one thinks may be considered wrongful by others.

There is only one right answer to this question and it doesn't take a medical degree of Dr. Crusher's to arrive at the correct answer of admitting to the wrong-doing.

Back to lessons in Management

Disclaimer: This website is not associated or endorsed by Paramount Pictures or CBS Studios Inc., the owners of the Star Trek trademarks, related marks and copyrights. References to Star Trek material on this web site complies with the Fair or Acceptable Use Principle established in the U.S. and International copyright law for the purposes of review, study, criticism and news reporting. No copyright infringement is intended by this website. All original work provided on this website is the sole copyrighted property of and may not be reproduced in any form without the express written permission from