Ethical Dilemmas about Economic Aid, Kidney Transplant and Attempted Suicide
Here are some additional ethical dilemmas that I would hope my visitors would take as a challenge to find the best decision. ..Maurice.
1) A first-world nation offers to give a third-world nation equivalent of millions of dollars to provide services and medication to HIV/AIDS victims but with the proviso that 50% of the money is to be used solely for sexual abstinence education programs. That 50% could currently be readily used to enlarge the service and medication programs to cover a greater area and population of the HIV/AIDS patients. What is the ethical conflict here and should the third-world country accept the humanitarian economic aid as stated?
2) Two brothers each have a congenital kidney disease and they are both in the end-stage kidney failure. Both are critically ill at the same time and both need the one donated kidney which is currently available. One brother is rich and can readily pay for the transplant but has a long history of criminal activity including fraud. The other brother is poor, dependent upon the State to pay for his medical care but has never engaged in criminal activity. To which brother should the transplant surgeons provide that kidney?
3) A man has hung himself in his jail cell in an apparent suicide attempt. He was rescued in time to transfer him to a hospital and the intensive care unit. The lack of oxygen has caused what the neurologists say is irreversible severe brain damage but the patient can still breathe on his own and therefore is not “brain dead”. However the patient may never regain consciousness. The family tells the hospital doctors that if he can’t regain consciousness, he should not be given medications to keep him alive and that if his heart stops, the hospital staff should not try to resuscitate him. However, the hospital has religious directives which dictate that the hospital should never aid and abet a suicide. The hospital’s administration tells the family that if the hospital followed the family’s request, the hospital would be going against that religious directive. A hospital ethics committee meeting was held with the family, physicians and administration representatives. What should the ethics committee advise?
GRAPHIC: My ArtRage painting modified with Picasa (Google)