Mr. and Mrs. R. are the parents of two sons, Terence and Jason. Terence is a 28-year-old man who is married, works for a railroad company, and attends college part-time. Terence suffers from chronic glomerulus nephritis, a fatal kidney disease. He is now being kept alive by frequent dialysis treatments, a procedure that cannot be continued much longer.
Jason is 27 years old, and has been living in a state institution for many years. He has an I.Q. of around 35, approximately corresponding to the mental age of a very young child. He is further handicapped by a speech defect, which makes it difficult for him to communicate with those who are not well acquainted with him.
Doctors determined that Terence would have to have a kidney transplant in order to survive. The new kidney could come either from a cadaver, if and when one became available, or from a live donor if a compatible donor could be found. Terence’s entire family was tested, including his mother, his father, and a number of other relatives. None of these family members were medically acceptable as live donors due to incompatible blood type or tissue type. As a last resort, Jason was tested and found to be highly compatible.
A psychiatrist who examined Jason stated that he believed Terence’s death would have an extremely traumatic effect upon Jason. Terence is Jason’s role model and is vital to Jason’s continued improvement at the hospital and in school.
Should Jason be allowed to donate a kidney to his brother Terence, to save his brother’s life?
Questions to help guide your analysis:
How should the issue of autonomy/informed consent (for Jason) be handled in this case?
What are the risks/benefits of the kidney transplant to Jason and to Terence?
If Jason does not donate a kidney to Terence, what other organ-donor options are available to Terence ?
How does the “doctrine of double effect” apply to this situation?
The bioethical dilemma
An argumentative thesis (your chosen position)
Give three reasons supporting your argument, applying philosophical paradigms (e.g. deontology, utilitarianism, virtue ethics, etc.) and bioethical principles (autonomy, nonmalefience, beneficence, and justice).
Offer one counterargument to your chosen position, citing support. A counterargument is an opposing position.
Give your rebuttal to the counterargument, with support. A rebuttal is a response to the opposing position.
For more information on Philosophical Paradigms read this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paradigm
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