Medical in health facilities are faced with various ethical issues in their line of work. These issues often require them to make critical decisions. According to Kidder (2009), the process of decision making is guided by one’s morals, core values and beliefs as well as integrity.Kidder’s Nine Ethical Checkpoints often help medical staff to make well informed decisions.
In the case presented, there are a few ethical issues. These are; first, the family of the patients is trying to use their influence to pressure the surgeon to perform the surgery even against the doctor’s recommendation. The hospital risks losing the family’s financial support if this is not done. Secondly, Tony is not willing to donate his lung but rather he is being coerced into it by his mother. According to Barr & Starnes (2014), the donor needs to be healthy and Tony is not. They could both die from the surgery.
The principal ethical issue in the case is going ahead with the transplant as it is too risky and it could result into the deaths of one or both brothers. The three options that the committee could implement are; going ahead with the surgery in order to maintain the family’s financial support, put John on ventilation for his lungs to recover, and thirdly, put John’s name on the national transplant waiting list with high priority. If the hospital performs the transplant, both brothers could die. If John is put on ventilation, his lungs function might increase and therefore eliminate the need for a transplant. If John’s name is put on the list with high priority, he is likely to get a compatible lung quickly and save Tony the trouble of donating a lung unwillingly.
The most ethical option is to put John on ventilation as his lungs function might improve. The least ethical is going ahead with the transplant despite the doctors’ recommendations and knowledge of the high risk involved.
Barr, M. L., & Starnes, V. A. (2014). Living donor lung transplantation. In Living Donor
Advocacy (pp. 75-89). Springer New York.
Kidder, R. M. (2009). How good people make tough choices: Resolving the dilemmas of ethical
living. New York: Harper.