John Q: An Ethical Analysis and Review.
March 8, 2011
The film John Q provides a model for the analysis and demonstration of ethical principles of distributive justice as they pertain to healthcare and, more specifically, organ allocation in the face of scarcity. The film portrays the shortcomings of a managed care system as well as the pitfalls of a libertarian approach to allocation. Here discussed are the ethical approaches of Eglitarianism, Prioritarianisn, Utilitarianism, and Libertarianism to organ allocation as they pertain to the film as well as the situational change in the plot if these approaches were considered. The topics of hopelessness and helplessness experienced by the patient and…show more content…
The depiction of a young boy falling deeper into the hopelessness of being rejected as an heart recipient and the helplessness of the parents as they watch their son’s condition continue to worsen because they are unable to provide the funds necessary to pay for the intervention successfully conveys the message that the results of allocative decisions are not always just and favor those with the ability to pay for the procedure. In the context of the film, it is important to note the role of hopelessness and helplessness felt by the Archibald family as a result of the organ allocation process and decision. It is no secret that illness and bodily deterioration can adversely affect the mood and emotions of a patient by promoting feelings of helplessness and a loss of hope. But, frequently one might observe the emotions of family members be similarly affected when a grim prognosis is delivered sensing that the situation is beyond anyone’s control and this leads to a deep sense of helplessness. This holds true especially for parents as in the case of the Archibald family. As a parent raises a child, benevolence and pleasing sacrifice are at the core of the parental emotional complex. So, when a child become ill, it presents as one of the few situations in which the parent is unable to offer more than comforting words of compassion and love. A parent that has devoted years of aid and