organ transplants SHOULDnotBE PRIORITISED ACCORDING TO lifestyle factors Doctor or Arbiter? Equality • The health practitioner must play an inappropriate role of judging lifestyle factors and their contribution to a patients illness. • FORAGAINST • Strengths • Undermining of the doctor-patient relationship: • Patients may lose trust & withhold information • Utilitarianism: can the doctor really do the best for the greater good if the doctor-patient relationship is undermined? • Each person is considered of equal worth and equal access to health care should be given, regardless of variable need. • FOR: • Egalitarianism: Scarce resources should be allocated on an equal and fair basis • Deontology: It is the doctors duty to provide their patients access to health care that they need, regardless of their background • Beneficence: act for the good of others, i.e. every patient who wishes to have a transplant should receive one • Non-Maleficence: Denial of access to organs based on lifestyle factors could cause considerable harm to the patient • Universality: If organ transplants are prioritised based on lifestyle, then all health care should be prioritised accordingly. This is unfeasible. • AGAINST: • Justice: “Equals should be • treated equally and unequal's • should be treated unequally.” • When resources are limited it • is necessary to define certain • circumstances under which a • person may not be considered • equally • Utilitarianism: Priorities must • be set to obtain the best • outcomes for the greatest • amount of people • Strengths: • There are many other non-controllable factors that may contribute to the disease, making it impossible to allocate the organ fairly. • The argument of utilitarianism in undermined as a characteristic of this principle is impartiality: each person’s welfare counts equal. • Weaknesses: • Argued that people who participate in risky health behavior are contributing to their illness therefore could be considered as unequal according to the principles of justice • To whom should we do good? Giving an organ to a patient with an unhealthy life-style means someone else will miss out. Deontology: The doctor’s duty is to treat patients, irrespective of the cause of illness. Utilitarianism: Judgments by the doctor may result in greater good for a greater number of people Respect for Autonomy: Patient has a right to make decisions for themselves Egalitarianism Non-Maleficence: Refusing to treat a patient based on past lifestyle choices is doing harm Supply Demand Right to risky behaviour • There is a personal right to engage in risky behaviour and any life involves some health-risk, therefore life-style factors should not influence the prioritisation of organ transplants. • FORAGAINST ? Respect for autonomy: Patient has the right to make their own choices, even if they are harmful. Utilitarianism: A transplant could do more good in a patient who does not undertake risky behaviour Universality: If one person is allowed to risk their health by engaging in a dangerous sport, then other people should be allowed to risk their health by smoking Who should receive the organ? Conclusion Group Members Juliette Roex, Emma Lane, Kate Seagrim, Ned Young, Jaya Lindsay Thorough research has revealed strong arguments on both sides of this debate. We believe the arguments against the prioritisation of organ transplants are more strongly supported by a wide range of ethical principles. Deontology supports that it is not the doctor’s role to choose who lives and dies, but to treat each individual patient equally. Autonomy validates one’s choice to live and enjoy life’s risks, as well as a patient’s right to request treatment. To deny a patient treatment due to their lifestyle choices is not in the patient’s best interests and causes them harm, thus opposing the principals of beneficence and non-maleficence. We believe a system for prioritisation of organ transplants should based on other factors, such as the likelihood of benefit for the patient and the urgency of treatment.