The “You Decide” tab to the left presents a difficult and painful
dilemma to you in an imagined professional role. Go through the You
Decide presentation, make the decision it calls for, and write your
weekly paper to make your decision and explain, in the given format,
your reasoning and justification for it.
Your dilemma is that you have to make a painful medical decision and
to explain, in writing, who benefits from what you decided, who gets
denied a needed benefit, and why. The document is to be in the form of
an official memorandum that will be kept for the record and could be
potentially read by not only your Peer Review Committee, but also
possibly those involved in charitable fundraising to support hospital
development and others with financial interests in the choice made.
You will see in the You Decide tab that there is time pressure in the
simulated situation to make your decision, 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 others. It
all falls on YOU!
Include in the document the utilitarian ethical philosophy of John
Stuart Mill (from the lecture and audio for this week) and ONE OTHER
ETHICAL PHILOSOPHER of your choice that we have studied to date, and use
both of those philosophies to bolster your decision. This paper will be
at least two double spaced pages but limited to three pages. Remember
both professional written form and potential audience, as well as tone
when writing this sensitive paper.
One of the great ongoing situations that calls for ethical decision
making is the reality that there is almost always a greater need for
something than there is a supply to meet the need.
For our assignment and scenario, the demand is the life-and-death
situation of the need for transplantable organs and the rather small and
transitory supply. Hard decisions need to be made, and there is little
time to think things through. These are emergency situations.
Transplantable organs become available on short notice–usually
because a donor has died for reasons unrelated to the organ. They need
to be removed and transplanted very quickly because they only remain
fresh for a limited period. Then there is the whole complicated issue of
tissue type matching. There is also an ongoing concern about how long
recipients can wait.
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Review the roles for this scenario before proceeding to the activity.
Your assignment is to make the decision using utilitarian ethics–as
this week’s classwork and discussions have brought you that skill–and
then to write it up in the form of a Memorandum for the hospital
records. Remember that this record could be reviewed by the Peer Review
Committee or the Hospital Trustees at a later date.
This is Utilitarian Week in our course. Employ what you have learned
from J. S. Mill and Utilitarianism this week AND one other of our
course’s ethicists (of your choice) from earlier weeks.
The Memorandum should be at least two double-spaced pages with a
maximum of three pages, in memorandum form, ready to become an official
item of record.