Textbook: Chapter 8; review previous chapters
Link (file): Memo Template Preview the document
You Decide (See page in Week 6)
Minimum of 2 scholarly sources
This assignment presents a difficult and painful medical dilemma, with you in an imagined professional role. Go through the You Decide scenario and make the decision it calls for. Then, compose an official memorandum that will be kept for the record and could potentially be read not only by your Peer Review Committee but also by those involved in charitable fundraising, which supports hospital development, as well as by others with financial interests in the decision.
In the memo (use the Memo Template), explain your decision and your reasoning for it. Include the following:
Who benefits from what you decided? Explain why.
Who gets denied a needed benefit? Explain why.
You will see notice that there is time pressure in the simulated situation, so remember that you would not have the luxury to dawdle in the decision-making process, and as the decision maker, you would not have the luxury of consulting a broad spectrum of advisors. It falls on you to decide!
Include in the memo the utilitarian ethical philosophy of John Stuart Mill (from the lesson last week) and one other ethical philosopher of your choosing that we have studied to date. Use both of those philosophies to bolster your decision.
Writing Requirements (APA format)
Length: 2-3 pages (not including title page or references page)
12-point Times New Roman font
Hospital Memorandum on Heart Transplant
As a surgeon, I have a professional obligation to preserve human life. However, in this case, I have three patients in need of heart surgery but only one heart available for transplant. The need here outdo the availability, which indicates that in whichever way, only one patient can benefit while the other two get denied the benefit. Choosing one patient over the other two presents a moral dilemma but again, time is of the essence, and a decision has to be made. Following the utilitarianism theory as developed by John Stuart Mill, the wrongness or rightness of an action is based on the badness or goodness of the consequences. Actions have consequences, and according to utilitarianism, the action that generates [cmppp_restricted] maximum benefits while minimising negative consequences is the right action (Ruggiero, 2012). This theory places happiness at the centre of moral judgement. Mills argued that while different conflicting actions can produce pleasure, the action with higher pleasure should be chosen. Aristotle on his part argued that happiness is to be attained by pursuing truth through reflection and the pursuit of virtual through intelligent conduct (Bykova, 2016).
Looking at the prevailing scenario, Jerry is 55 years old, has three children and a stay at home wife with no carrier. While one child is in college, one is autistic, and the last one hopes to become an astronaut. If Jerry gets the transplant, the consequences will be that he could live 10-15 years more. While his heart was damaged through the use of steroids, there is no risk of this happening again. Lisa, who is 12 years has lifelong health issues. If Lisa, her survival chances to her 20s are poor. However, her parents have offered to donate $ 2 million to build a specialised unit if she gets the heart. The consequences of Lisa getting the transplant will be a $ 2 million donation and less than 8 years survival. Ozzy, 38 years is homeless and acquired a heart problem due to drug abuse. If he gets the heart, he could live for another 10 years and continue working as a counsellor-mentor for one year. However, there is the risk of Recidivism where he could die within months.
Based on the consequences, the heart goes to Jerry. There are no negative consequences involved with Jerry getting the heart. For Lisa, she could die anytime even with the heart, and as a professional, my obligation to the patients supersedes my obligation to the hospital benefiting from the donation. For Ozzy, while the heart could give him 10 more years, there is the risk of him getting back to drugs and dying within months. Thus, giving the heart to Jerry results in highest benefits but denies Ozzy and Lisa the benefit of enjoying more years. In the pursuit of intelligent conduct as a professional, giving the heart to Jerry presents the best possible expected outcome. It will maximize happiness for most of the people in that while Jerry will be happy with his family, the hospital will be happy for achieving its obligation. For Lisa and Ozzy, the possibility of dying anytime presents a possibility for negative outcomes which would make their families as well as the hospital sad. Furthermore, more hearts could become available with time and benefit both is and Ozzy.
Ruggiero, V. R. (2012). Thinking critically about ethical issues (8th ed.). New York: Mc-Graw Hill.
Bykova, M. (2016). New Insights into Aristotle’s Ethics. Russian Studies In Philosophy, 54(6), 449-455. [/cmppp_restricted]