Different kinds of resources are very essential to almost every individual especially if it means his or her survival. Human necessities are not merely limited to natural resources like water, food, and shelter. People tend to have more pressing needs and sometimes it involves human organs. The presence of numerous life threatening diseases is the primary reason there is such a huge demand for this kind of resources. Nevertheless, this poses a huge problem because there are limited donors and organs to sustain the need for it.
Due to the scarcity of such resource, the United Network Organ Sharing (UNOS) was established in order to ensure the equal chances of acquiring an organ. However, a recent event completely disregarded this process as someone by the name of Todd Krampitz was able to find a loophole in the system and immediately got a kidney transplant. Todd Krampitz placed print ads and billboards to encourage people to donate kidney for him. He even guest at some television shows to ask for people’s help. He received his liver by using media and public sympathy, which bypass all those who are waiting in line for their turn (Caplan, 2004).
Krampitz action was clearly unethical as he disregarded the idea of distributive justice as well as the proper allocation of scarce resources. Distributive Justice pertains to the “fair allocation of resources among diverse members of a community” (Maiese, 2003). The just distribution of resources takes into consideration the total number of goods to be allocated, distribution process, and its results. Since organs are limited, it should be distributed in a proper and reasonable manner in order for every individual who needs it to obtain a “fair share.
” Many people had already died due to the lack of organ donors. This is the main reason why distributive justice is indeed essential to organ allocation (Petechuk, 2006). The idea of allocating scarce resources is also given equal importance in this case since there is only a limited supply of organs. In distributing this kind of resource, it is important that proper standards or criteria should be applied so that those who badly and immediately need it could be given the chance to avail of an organ. Moreover, those who would greatly benefit from this resource should also be prioritized.
These are in relation with the primary goal of not wasting this limited and precious resource (Petechuk, 2006). However, it must also be noted that the principles behind distributive justice and the allocation of scarce resource are very complex. There are many interpretation on how these should be viewed and understand. As such, there are many ways by which a recipient can justify his or her right for such privilege. On the other hand, based upon the United States of America’s interpretation and implementation of distributive justice and allocation of scarce resources, Todd Krampitz violated these principles.
In the U. S. , the primary basis for receiving a particular organ is dependent upon the medical need of the individual. The sickest person should be the primary priority followed by the long-term advantageous effect that it might bring or its “maximum benefit” (Petechuk, 2006). Based on these two criteria, Krampitz robbed other people, who also need the same resource, of an equal opportunity to get it. First, there are many people in the list who are in a worse condition than he is some of then are even in the verge of death.
Another important reason is that he did not undergo the necessary formulas that would determine whether a liver transplant would indeed be beneficial for him especially since his cancer is already at its advanced stage (Caplan, 2004). Due to this, there is a large possibility that the transplant might not work for him. Being the case, it is clearly observable that what Krampitz did is unethical not only in the realm of the medical field but most especially to those people who are in dire need of an organ.
There is nothing wrong in Krampitz intention to extend his life. But, in doing so, he unfairly infringed upon other people’s right for the same resource. He has the necessary means to conduct a multimedia campaign in order for the public to help him but not all people have the same luxury. This only shows the injustice that took place wherein the supposed equal distribution of this scarce resource was disregarded because someone found a loophole and took advantage of it.
The U. S. government should make the necessary steps in order for this incident not to happen again especially since the matter at stake is the lives of numerous people. References Caplan, A. (2004). Cutting in line for organ transplants. Retrieved October 13, 2008, from http://www. msnbc. msn. com/id/5810779/. Maiese, M. (2003). The Notion of fair Distribution. Retrieved October 13, 2008, from http://www. beyondintractability. org/essay/distributive_justice/. Petechuk, D. (2006). Organ Transplantation. Connecticut: Greenwood Publishing Group.