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Unformatted text preview: Kevin Pintauro October 9, 2007 PHL 250 – Midterm 1) The moral dilemma Rebecca faces has to do with the moral obligations of certain decisions when available medical supplies will not be adequate for an emergency with many sick patients. The first concern that arises is if Rebecca, by following Dr. Harrison’s instructions to implement the “capacity triage plan”, is ignoring or neglecting the people deemed as being the lower possibility of surviving. As a medical professional, Rebecca is compelled to help everyone within her ability and therefore it is simple to understand how the capacity triage plan could seem to ignore abandoning patients. An important point to consider, however, involves the distinction between “ignoring” a patient and prioritizing a patient’s odds of survival. With the fast decrease in the patients’ conditions it is apparent that the hospital’s resources will not be enough to save every person. Rebecca is also struggling with making the radical change from usually attending to the most seriously ill patients first to focusing on those most likely to live. The approach is challenging, however, because it does not take into consideration the fact that under regular circumstances, the expectations of people are hospital emergency rooms will be able to help every admitted patient. If the expectations are that everyone will be helped, then it is reasonable that in order to do that, the most critical patients should be seen first. However, under these circumstances, the strategy is not to save everyone hence a choice has been made to maximize the survival of the patients. The capacity plan focuses on saving as many lives as possible and in doing so treats each patient as just one. This does not however, delegate that each person must be treated the same rather the triage view of equality only views how many people live or die. Even if this is morally defendable, the approach brings about difficult issues particularly the effects felt by the patients’ family. This plan only takes the lives of the patients into account, but Rebecca is also left with the decision’s effect on others when she imagines how she would react if she were a relative of one of the “passed over” patients. The last factor involves the placement of importance on situations involving medical service. Should the emphasis be placed on the highest survival rate, like the triage capacity plan or should the degree of the decisions’ effect on non-patients be taken into account as well? Either path is morally plausible and tries to make sense of a dire situation. 2) The moral dilemma Rebecca is facing is choosing what she thinks is right. Should she help the dying patients or just help those who can be helped; and should she follow the set plan for this state or should she adapt it? Virtue is doing good actions according to Aristotle. The main concern for Aristotle is deciding what makes a “good person”. Aristotle says that every action has an end and a “good” at which someone...
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This essay was uploaded on 04/07/2008 for the course PHL 250 taught by Professor Kiefer during the Spring '08 term at Creighton.
- Spring '08