Ethical Dilemma – Read the attached handout which is a scenario about you being a part of a hospital board. The job of the board is to decide which of the five people discussed in the handout should be the recipient of a much-needed kidney. Tell us who you think should get the kidney and why. Tell us how you made your decision. There is no right or wrong answer! (Your response should be about 100 words.)
Ethical Dilemma – Read the attached handout which is a scenario about you being a part of a hospital board. The job of the board is to decide which of the five people discussed in the handout should b
Kidney Exercise You are the hospital board that makes decisions about organ transplants in the event of a conflict. You are faced with the following situation: There are five people in your hospital awaiting a kidney. There is one kidney available that will be a match for all of them. They all have rare blood and tissue types that make it unlikely that another kidney can be found any time soon that might be a match for them so this might be the last chance for them. One individual is a 19 year old male college student, a slightly below average student majoring in wildlife and fisheries science (when he goes to class). He went to a party, something he does often, and got thoroughly drunk, also something he does often. He got into his car and went for a drive. Since he was much too drunk to be driving, he lost control of the car and struck an oncoming vehicle head on. The occupants of the other car, a thirty year old father of two and his five year old son were killed. They left behind a twenty five year old mother and her four year old daughter. The student faces vehicular homicide charges as well as DUI and other charges. The impact of the crash has caused both the student’s kidneys to rupture. Dialysis can keep him alive for a few years at most and the procedure will cause steady deterioration. The chances of finding another match for a kidney are slim. The second individual is a seventy year old retired Methodist minister. He is a respected member of the community who still counsels those in need. He was the pastor of the local church for nearly forty years, during which time he was held in the highest esteem, raising money for the poor, starting a Habitat for Humanity chapter, and presiding over hundreds of weddings and funerals. You can scarcely tell he is retired since he has remained almost fully engaged in the activities of the church and heads a group of community clergy that are trying to pool the efforts of Jews, Muslims, Christians and other s to better the community. However, he has a number of other medical conditions (most notably arteriosclerosis) that make it unlikely he will live longer than another five years at most. Each year will probably make him less robust and less able to keep up his remarkable pace. Dialysis may keep him alive for a year or so, but at his age and in his condition, it will take its toll. In any case he is determined to do what he can to make the world a better place in the time left to him. The third individual is a middle-aged man with HIV. He is in the top management for a billion dollar company. He donates thousands of dollars to charities each year and coaches a little league team for his nephew. He is still relatively healthy and active. He plays golf and tennis in his spare time. He has a healthy immune system that has not developed into AIDS. It is quite possible he will be what they refer to as a “long-term” survivor (never will develop AIDS), but there is no way to know. Before he was infected with HIV, he was diagnosed with diabetes, which has led to a kidney failure recently. He is in need of a kidney transplant. With the transplant he should remain healthy, assuming his HIV does not develop into AIDS. Without the transplant, his kidneys could fail at any given moment and take his life. The fourth individual is a bright, happy-go-lucky 10 year old girl who was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis when she was two months old. She’s had a number of surgeries, including having one lung removed. She now has kidney problems as a side effect of the disease. She is being tested on a new treatment plan just developed to help children with cystic fibrosis. They believe the life expectancy will be twice as long compared to other patients with the same disease; however the risk is very high because it has never been tested. If she doesn’t get a kidney transplant, she will not be able to lead a very active lifestyle because of the kidney problems. While it is questionable as to how long she will live because of the new medication she is taking, the kidney transplant would allow her to lead an active, normal lifestyle. The fifth individual is a single mother with 4 children. She is working full-time and barely getting by. Recently, she developed a sinus infection, but couldn’t afford to go to the doctor or get medication to clear it up because has no medical insurance. It resulted in Septicemicy, which is a bad infection in the blood stream that affects the body, and her organs began shutting down. She went to the hospital and has now healed from the infection, but her kidneys were left badly damaged. She is now in need of a transplant, but it will max out her credit cards and she still has mouths to feed. If she gets the transplant, she will most likely have to give some of her kids up, because she cannot care for all of them (financially or physically – because of the side effects of the infection). If she doesn’t get the transplant, it is unknown how long her kidneys will last before she loses all functionality of them. It could be anywhere from a year to 20 years. Choose between them. Do you choose the 19 year old with his entire life before him even though he shows a decided lack of personal responsibility and faces criminal charges? What about the minister who has done much good in his life and will continue to do so for what is left of his life, however brief? Do you choose the man with HIV who does many positive things in the community, even though he could develop AIDS at any time? How about the child with cystic fibrosis who is on a new radical treatment plan with high risks? Finally, do you choose the mother who would have to give her kids up due to the financial and physical strain a transplant would cause?