Biomedical Example

Resource: Ch. 1 of Health Care Ethics (6th ed.)
Mickey Mantle received a liver transplant in 1995. He was a Baseball Hall of Fame center fielder for the New York Yankees whose liver was failing because of cirrhosis and hepatitis. Although the waiting period for a liver transplant in the United States is about 130 days, it took only two days for the Baylor Medical Center’s transplant team to find an organ donor for the 63-year-old former baseball hero.
According to the director of the Southwest Organ Bank, Mantle was moved ahead of others on the list because of his deteriorating medical condition; however, there were mixed feelings about speeding up the process for a celebrity. Mantle was known for overcoming immense obstacles, and many argued that the medical system should provide exceptions for heroes. He was also a recovering alcoholic, which further complicated the ethical implications of the case. Because of Mantle’s medical problems, doctors estimated that he had only a 60 percent chance for a three-year survival; whereas, liver transplant patients typically have about a 78 percent chance for a three-year survival rate.
As in the case of the liver transplant for Mickey Mantle, should the system make exceptions for real heroes? Why or why not?
Write a 1,050- to 1,400-word paper in which you analyze the Mickey Mantle case using the Seven-Step Decision Model

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