Memorandum of New Heart Availability


Ethics Paper Requirements

Include in the document the utilitarian ethical philosophy of John Stuart Mill (from the lecture

and audio for this week) and ONE OTHER ETHICAL PHILOSOPHER of your choice that we

have studied to date, and use both of those philosophies to bolster your decision. This paper will

be at least two double spaced pages but limited to three pages. Remember both professional

written form and potential audience, as well as tone when writing this sensitive paper.


Ok, Lead Surgeon, it is time to do what you do best! There is a lot at stake. The decision must be

made almost immediately. Like all actions, you will need to write your decision into medical

documentation before you begin. Yes, that means YOU! In the limited time before you would

begin surgery, you need to consider the cases; the technical issues involved also, and write a

Memorandum for the Record to document what decision you made and what considerations you

included in your process. This will be on the record, so it needs to be thorough in case it needs to

justify your actions at a later date.


You are the Lead Surgeon in a major hospital, and by virtue of your seniority you are also the

key decision maker for transplant cases. Right now you have three people who are waiting and

hoping for a suitable heart to become available. Your cell phone rings suddenly, and you are

notified that a heart has become available-meaning that you need to make a quick yet sound

decision about which patient will receive the heart and then schedule surgery for today.


Jerry, a father of 3 children and at the age of 55, is in the Ward awaiting a suitable heart for

transplanting. His wife Joanie is a stay at home mother with no education beyond high school

and no career. Jerry is the middle level manager at a carpet distributing business and 5 year short

of his retirement eligibility. Jerry and Joanie have three teenage children aged 14, 16, and 19.

The 19 year old is a sophomore at college; the 14 year old is mildly autistic, and the 16 year old

is an astronaut wannabe. If Jerry gets the heart, his chances of living another 10-15 years are

very high. His heart is damaged due to the use of steroids in his early 20s when he was involved

with bodybuilding before the dangers of steroid use were fully known.

Lisa is one of those precocious girls – a doll-like girl at the edge of becoming a teenager. She

reads voraciously and yet likes the activities of a younger girl playing with her Barbie Doll. She

has suffered health issues all her life due to various viral infections and a lupus-like immune

deficiency. Her heart was damaged during a nasty bout with pneumonia last year and actually

stopped for a brief period. Her mother knew to begin CPR on her or she would have died there.

Even with a transplant, her chances of surviving into her 20s are not good. She is the only child

in the family, and they cannot bear more children. Her parents will do anything for her, and they

have offered to donate $2 million to the hospital's construction of specialized facilities if she can

get a heart soon enough. Her father is also a noted oncologist working in the same hospital but in

a different department.

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