Ideal recipient for a precious organ discussion

Problem Statement

Organs are rare and expensive resources. Distributing these resources equitably remains one of the most pressing dilemmas in bioethics. Given that the dying patient did consent to organ donation, the primary ethical dilemmas in this case arise when determining the recipient. The case presents four different options, two of which (Michael and Mario) seem relatively easy to rule out. Mario is an infant who may not be a suitable candidate, and Michael has a history of liver disease due to alcoholism. Emily and Anita, however, both seem equally suitable candidates for the liver.

Don't use plagiarized sources. Get Your Custom Essay on
Ideal recipient for a precious organ discussion
Just from $9/Page
Order Essay

This case raises several moral questions. If every patient is deemed equally as worthy and valuable, according to ethical principles like equity and justice, then how is it possible to favor one person over the other? The answer to that question would be first to rule out any potential recipient who might reject the organ due to underlying medical conditions or to general incompatibility. In this case, ruling out Michael and Mario is due to their being less likely to successfully adapt to the new organ. It would be tempting to choose an infant based on a raw emotional response, but Mario’s condition might not be resolved with the liver transplant. More research would be needed into the implications of having biliary atresia, to determine whether the infant would have trouble with bile production even with a new liver.

In fact, the only way to really make an informed decision in this case is to eschew any immediate emotional response to the four candidates and consider only the issue of which candidate will maximize the value of the liver. Value in this case is not a financial metric, but is instead related to medical compatibility and the least likely person to develop further complications after the transplant. Above all, this case illustrates the central importance of the ethical principle of justice in medicine. This case also seriously challenges the healthcare team to apply the principle of beneficence equitably. Essentially, the case pits the principle of beneficence against the principle of justice.


Technological innovations—including those that have made organ transplants more common and safer–frequently give rise to new ethical dilemmas in medicine (Steinbock, London & Arras, n.d.). This case shows how organ transplants, as beneficial and miraculous as they are, can also become a source of struggle for bioethicists and healthcare workers who contend with difficult choices—many of which are essentially life-and-death matters. The principalist method avoids some of the pitfalls associated with adherence to only one ethical theory like utilitarianism or deontology.

Ethical principles become guiding forces to help people make ethical decisions in cases as troubling as this one, involving who would be the ideal recipient for a precious organ. The primary ethical principles in medicine and healthcare include respect for autonomy, beneficence, and justice. However, confidentiality or nonmaleficence re often included to make four guiding principles that can be applied to difficult situations (“Principlesd of Ethics,” n.d.). These ethical principles are based on values like equity, respect for the individual, and altruism. A principle is “a fundamental standard of conduct from which many other moral standards and judgments draw support,” (“Ethical Theory and Bioethics,” n.d. p. 22). Resolving the organ donor dilemma becomes easier when the foremost ethical principles are applied to the case.

The principle of autonomy is not a central one in this case, except for Mario—an infant who is incapable of making the choice for himself. Mario’s parents are legally and morally responsible for making decisions on Mario’s behalf. If the dying donor were suddenly to withdraw the consent to harvest the organ, then the principle of autonomy would come to the fore. Otherwise, it can be assumed that all four candidates are fully cognizant of the ramifications of the organ transplant. Confidentiality is likewise not the most important factor in this case, and only would be if a member of the medical team had access to personal information about one of the patients and could not disclose that information in order to protect that patient’s privacy.

The two main bioethical principles at stake in this case are justice and beneficence. Resolving the conflict requires a cogent analysis of how to align the principle of beneficence with that of justice. Unless three more livers become available, three of the patients will be denied an opportunity that could result in their premature death. The healthcare team cannot act in an equally beneficent way to all four of the patients waiting for a liver transplant at this time. Doing no harm, the most important feature of the principle of beneficence, means carefully assessing the medical history of all four patients to determine which has the most acute need for the liver. It would not be beneficent to deny the liver to a patient who is at immanent risk of dying. The issue can be resolved first by recognizing that some of the patients may be able to extend their lives and enjoy good health by other means, and can afford to wait for a new liver. Similarly, the principle of beneficence obliges the healthcare team to examine each patient individually and determine which would suffer fewest complications from the transplant. The patient least likely to suffer consequences, and who also needs the liver the most, would be the most suitable candidate and that information cannot be gleaned from the paucity of medical data given in the brief case studies.

Ultimately, the principle of justice becomes the central issue in the case. Distributive justice refers to the “fair, equitable, and appropriate distribution” of resources in a society,” (“Ethical Theory and Bioethics,” n.d., p. 25). Unfortunately, genuine distributive justice is impossible in this case. There is only one liver, and four candidates. To ascribe to the principle of justice, factors such as socioeconomic class status, ethnicity, age, or ability to pay (as in Emily, for example) cannot be taken into consideration when making the choice of recipient. Social justice means each person is equally as valuable.

The decision must be made purely on medical grounds, and if all of the medical grounds are equal, then the only way to make a decision that is aligned with the principle of justice would be to resort to a “first come, first serve” policy. Michael has been on the list the longest—at one year. Whoever was placed on the donor list first may have a legal right to the liver—something that the healthcare team also needs to consider.

Prejudice against older patients has become a real concern in situations like these, in which the team might be biased towards younger recipients (“Principles of Ethics,” n.d.). To resolve the dilemma, it would be critical to make a choice in a way that did not unfairly prejudice any one of the candidates because of age, ability to pay, or even lifestyle. The healthcare team might be tempted to disqualify Michael on the grounds that he has been an alcoholic, and therefore caused his own liver damage. Yet alcoholism has been classified as a disease, like any other, rendering Michael far less responsible for his cirrhosis than his critics might claim. Anita has also recently started drinking and smoking on her own volition, in spite of her medical condition. Her behavior could be construed as being grounds for disqualification. Before the issue is resolved, she would need to commit to lifestyle changes. Emily has no history of self-destructive behavior, and although she has only been on the donor list for a few months, may be a better candidate than Michael.


Before making any decision, the healthcare team needs to conduct a more thorough examination of the biomarkers that affect the recipient’s ability to tolerate the liver, such as immune health or blood type. The healthcare team also needs to consider the legal parameters, such as whether the recipient list must be followed in a particular order or if recipients are randomly chosen. Likewise, the team needs to assess whether one of the patients needs the transplant sooner than the others, under the principle of beneficence.

If all medical parameters prove equal, the team would subsequently be advised to offer the liver first to Michael only because he has been on the list the longest. To deny Michael the liver would be incompatible with the principles of justice and beneficence. As irksome as it might seem to many members of the team, choosing Michael would allow the institution to better align with its most important values. Recommended course of action is as follows:

· Thoroughly assess all patients to determine whether one is in dire, immediate need of the organ transplant

· Thoroughly assess all patients to determine medical suitability and compatibility with the donor organ

· Offer the donor, if he is cognizant and capable, the option for input into the decision. Confidentiality can be preserved if the donor is given only the basic information and is allowed to consult with the medical team about the ethical issues at stake.

· Consult with Michael, and make sure that he understands that in taking the liver he is denying other candidates the opportunity


“Ethical Theory and Bioethics,” (n.d.).

“Principles of Ethics,” (n.d.).

Steinbock, B., London, A.J. & Arras, J.D. (n.d.). Ethical issues in modern medicine. 8th edition. McGraw Hill.

Get Professional Assignment Help Cheaply

Buy Custom Essay

Are you busy and do not have time to handle your assignment? Are you scared that your paper will not make the grade? Do you have responsibilities that may hinder you from turning in your assignment on time? Are you tired and can barely handle your assignment? Are your grades inconsistent?

Whichever your reason is, it is valid! You can get professional academic help from our service at affordable rates. We have a team of professional academic writers who can handle all your assignments.

Why Choose Our Academic Writing Service?

  • Plagiarism free papers
  • Timely delivery
  • Any deadline
  • Skilled, Experienced Native English Writers
  • Subject-relevant academic writer
  • Adherence to paper instructions
  • Ability to tackle bulk assignments
  • Reasonable prices
  • 24/7 Customer Support
  • Get superb grades consistently

Online Academic Help With Different Subjects


Students barely have time to read. We got you! Have your literature essay or book review written without having the hassle of reading the book. You can get your literature paper custom-written for you by our literature specialists.


Do you struggle with finance? No need to torture yourself if finance is not your cup of tea. You can order your finance paper from our academic writing service and get 100% original work from competent finance experts.

Computer science

Computer science is a tough subject. Fortunately, our computer science experts are up to the match. No need to stress and have sleepless nights. Our academic writers will tackle all your computer science assignments and deliver them on time. Let us handle all your python, java, ruby, JavaScript, php , C+ assignments!


While psychology may be an interesting subject, you may lack sufficient time to handle your assignments. Don’t despair; by using our academic writing service, you can be assured of perfect grades. Moreover, your grades will be consistent.


Engineering is quite a demanding subject. Students face a lot of pressure and barely have enough time to do what they love to do. Our academic writing service got you covered! Our engineering specialists follow the paper instructions and ensure timely delivery of the paper.


In the nursing course, you may have difficulties with literature reviews, annotated bibliographies, critical essays, and other assignments. Our nursing assignment writers will offer you professional nursing paper help at low prices.


Truth be told, sociology papers can be quite exhausting. Our academic writing service relieves you of fatigue, pressure, and stress. You can relax and have peace of mind as our academic writers handle your sociology assignment.


We take pride in having some of the best business writers in the industry. Our business writers have a lot of experience in the field. They are reliable, and you can be assured of a high-grade paper. They are able to handle business papers of any subject, length, deadline, and difficulty!


We boast of having some of the most experienced statistics experts in the industry. Our statistics experts have diverse skills, expertise, and knowledge to handle any kind of assignment. They have access to all kinds of software to get your assignment done.


Writing a law essay may prove to be an insurmountable obstacle, especially when you need to know the peculiarities of the legislative framework. Take advantage of our top-notch law specialists and get superb grades and 100% satisfaction.

What discipline/subjects do you deal in?

We have highlighted some of the most popular subjects we handle above. Those are just a tip of the iceberg. We deal in all academic disciplines since our writers are as diverse. They have been drawn from across all disciplines, and orders are assigned to those writers believed to be the best in the field. In a nutshell, there is no task we cannot handle; all you need to do is place your order with us. As long as your instructions are clear, just trust we shall deliver irrespective of the discipline.

Are your writers competent enough to handle my paper?

Our essay writers are graduates with bachelor's, masters, Ph.D., and doctorate degrees in various subjects. The minimum requirement to be an essay writer with our essay writing service is to have a college degree. All our academic writers have a minimum of two years of academic writing. We have a stringent recruitment process to ensure that we get only the most competent essay writers in the industry. We also ensure that the writers are handsomely compensated for their value. The majority of our writers are native English speakers. As such, the fluency of language and grammar is impeccable.

What if I don’t like the paper?

There is a very low likelihood that you won’t like the paper.

Reasons being:

  • When assigning your order, we match the paper’s discipline with the writer’s field/specialization. Since all our writers are graduates, we match the paper’s subject with the field the writer studied. For instance, if it’s a nursing paper, only a nursing graduate and writer will handle it. Furthermore, all our writers have academic writing experience and top-notch research skills.
  • We have a quality assurance that reviews the paper before it gets to you. As such, we ensure that you get a paper that meets the required standard and will most definitely make the grade.

In the event that you don’t like your paper:

  • The writer will revise the paper up to your pleasing. You have unlimited revisions. You simply need to highlight what specifically you don’t like about the paper, and the writer will make the amendments. The paper will be revised until you are satisfied. Revisions are free of charge
  • We will have a different writer write the paper from scratch.
  • Last resort, if the above does not work, we will refund your money.

Will the professor find out I didn’t write the paper myself?

Not at all. All papers are written from scratch. There is no way your tutor or instructor will realize that you did not write the paper yourself. In fact, we recommend using our assignment help services for consistent results.

What if the paper is plagiarized?

We check all papers for plagiarism before we submit them. We use powerful plagiarism checking software such as SafeAssign, LopesWrite, and Turnitin. We also upload the plagiarism report so that you can review it. We understand that plagiarism is academic suicide. We would not take the risk of submitting plagiarized work and jeopardize your academic journey. Furthermore, we do not sell or use prewritten papers, and each paper is written from scratch.

When will I get my paper?

You determine when you get the paper by setting the deadline when placing the order. All papers are delivered within the deadline. We are well aware that we operate in a time-sensitive industry. As such, we have laid out strategies to ensure that the client receives the paper on time and they never miss the deadline. We understand that papers that are submitted late have some points deducted. We do not want you to miss any points due to late submission. We work on beating deadlines by huge margins in order to ensure that you have ample time to review the paper before you submit it.

Will anyone find out that I used your services?

We have a privacy and confidentiality policy that guides our work. We NEVER share any customer information with third parties. Noone will ever know that you used our assignment help services. It’s only between you and us. We are bound by our policies to protect the customer’s identity and information. All your information, such as your names, phone number, email, order information, and so on, are protected. We have robust security systems that ensure that your data is protected. Hacking our systems is close to impossible, and it has never happened.

How our Assignment  Help Service Works

1.      Place an order

You fill all the paper instructions in the order form. Make sure you include all the helpful materials so that our academic writers can deliver the perfect paper. It will also help to eliminate unnecessary revisions.

2.      Pay for the order

Proceed to pay for the paper so that it can be assigned to one of our expert academic writers. The paper subject is matched with the writer’s area of specialization.

3.      Track the progress

You communicate with the writer and know about the progress of the paper. The client can ask the writer for drafts of the paper. The client can upload extra material and include additional instructions from the lecturer. Receive a paper.

4.      Download the paper

The paper is sent to your email and uploaded to your personal account. You also get a plagiarism report attached to your paper.

smile and order essaysmile and order essay PLACE THIS ORDER OR A SIMILAR ORDER WITH US TODAY AND GET A PERFECT SCORE!!!

order custom essay paper