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The Ethics of Organ Transplantation

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By Raymond777
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The Ethics of Organ Transplant
Alexander Ontiverios
Ethics 445 Course
April 2011

Deciding a recipient for an organ transplant is a major decision. There are more people requiring organ transplants than there are organs to be given. This insufficient number of organs makes the decision one that can be based off of ethical theories. The first approach I took to this situation was the utilitarian approach. I first identified the various courses of action available to me. I have to choose between three people and decide which one will receive a heart transplant based on their history. If Jerry receives the heart, his chances of living another 15 years is very high, his mother and 3 children will be left with no support if Jerry fails to receive this transplant. The second patient Lisa who has a serious history of health issues, has an unlikely chance of living another 8 years even if the transplant is successful. Her mother and father, who are unable to conceive any more kids will be affected. The last patient Ozzy has a history of serious drug abuse. He was given the opportunity to receive a transplant through an organization he volunteers at. He has promised to stay drug free after the transplant and continue volunteering as a counselor to kids, but recidivism is a sever risk with his history of abuse. The children will be affected because they will lose him as a counselor. In my opinion I believe if Jerry received the heart transplant, it would produce the greatest benefit and the least harm. According to Kant, he viewed every individual as equal. He stated that what results from our actions is not under our control, so we can’t be morally accountable for them. On the other hand, our will is in our control, so our will is the only basis for moral evaluation of our actions. (Kant, 1800) That being said, because we are not viewing this situation based on the...

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