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A woman was on her deathbed. There was one drug that the doctors thought might s
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A woman was on her deathbed. There was one drug that the doctors thought might save her. It was a form of radium that a druggist in the same town had recently discovered. The drug was expensive to make, but the druggist was charging ten times what the drug cost him to produce. He paid $200 for the radium and charged $2,000 for a small dose of the drug. The sick woman’s husband, Heinz, went to everyone he knew to borrow the money, but he could only get together about $1,000 or half of what it cost. He told the druggist that his wife was dying and asked him to sell it cheaper or let him pay later. But the druggist said: “No, I discovered the drug and I’m going to make money from it.” So Heinz got desperate and broke into the man’s laboratory to steal the drug. Should Heinz have broken into the laboratory to steal the drug? Why or why not?
From Wikipedia: Heinz dilemma
According to what Carol Gilligan calls “justice reasoning,” the appropriate way to respond to the Heinz dilemma is to apply a moral principle, such as the “principle of utility” or the “categorical imperative”. Care ethicists and virtue ethicists do not mandate adhering to specific moral principles in discerning right from wrong. Instead, the care ethicist argues that the correct action is the one that is caring and, likewise, the virtue ethicist argues that the correct action is virtuous.
How should we assess Heinz’s actions? Did Heinz do the right thing? If, so why? If not, why not? What should he have done?
Your essay must include the following:
I. A description of how either a Kantian deontologist or a utilitarian would respond to the Heinz dilemma, not both! Take care to identify what conclusion the deontologist or utilitarian would come regarding the case, as well as the principles that either would adhere to in coming to this conclusion. Provide a clear account of why stealing the medicine would or would not violate the categorical imperative, or why stealing the medicine would or would not maximize utility.
II. A description of how either a virtue ethicist or a care ethicist would respond to the Heinz dilemma, not both! If you discuss virtue ethics, be sure to draw on Aristotle’s ideas. Take care to identify what conclusion the virtue ethicist or the care ethicist would come to regarding the case, as well as the principles that either would adhere to in coming this conclusion. Provide a clear account for why stealing the medicine would or would not be virtuous, or why stealing the medicine would or would not be caring.
III. An analysis of which mode of reasoning principled (e.g. deontological or utilitarian) or unprincipled (e.g. virtue-based or care-based) we should use to assess the case.
IV. A statement that ultimately identifies what Heinz should have done. Your thesis needs to be stated in terms of the ethical theories that you have discussed in I and II above.
V. Note that submissions should be 1) double-spaced and 2) formatted according to MLA standards. This includes appropriately cited in-text citations, as well as complete bibliography. For more information on writing argumentative essays, please carefully read the writing guide.
VI. Your submission should be between 1000-1300 words, with a minimum of 900 words.