Ethical Dilemma in Medical Transplant

727 Words3 Pages
One of the most agonizing decisions a medical professional can make comes when viable internal organs become available for transplant, because the current system of transplant lists often necessitates a time-sensitive evaluation of several candidates to determine who should receive the desperately needed operation. The ethical dilemma presented by the activity You Decide, in which three individuals coming from vastly different circumstances are eligible to receive a heart transplant, represents an all too common situation within the medical profession, and despite the intense emotional stakes involved, the most effective and efficient decision making process is one based on careful consideration of the ethical ramifications involved. Due to the enormous pressure involved in the transplantation of vital organs, a process which must be undertaken with immediacy, medical professionals often rely on the predetermined structural boundaries of respected philosophical tenets. The utilitarian ethical philosophy advanced by the work of Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill, each of whom argued that deciding the most morally acceptable course of action required the clinical application of logical reasoning, is epitomized by Bentham's famous axiom that "it is the greatest happiness of the greatest number that is the measure of right and wrong" (1776). By applying the fundamental precepts of Bentham and Mill's concept of utilitarianism to this morally sensitive medical dilemma, it is
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