Distributive Justice Essay

Todd Krampitz who is thirty two year’s old is from Texas, and a newly wed. Unfortunately, he has a big tumor on his liver and the doctor has said it clearly that for his life to be saved, he must have a liver transplant (Caplan par. 2). It is possible for him to get someone willing to donate a liver, but the greatest challenge is that there are 17,471 people in United States who have been listed before him as having the need of such a transplant (Associated Press). The United Network for Organ Sharing is the only authorized body that runs this program, getting the grants from the Department of Health and Human Services.

The Network that possesses the national list was formed to enable the patients in the entire nation to get the fair opportunity. There are some factors that the system must consider for one to qualify for the donation. First, the type of his or her blood and tissues, the size of the one donating , whether the person requires urgent medical treatment and finally whether he or she is likely to survive after the transplant. Todd and his doctor decided they could not wait to go through the process and instead decided to run adverts in the media and through the billboards for any willing donor.

They found one and the transplant was successful (Caplan par. 2). However, the method that Todd used was unethical as it went against the principles of distributive justice. Distributive justice states that resources should be distributed fairly to the different members of a certain community. This definitely considers the number of the goods that are available for distribution, the process of distribution and the resulting pattern of distribution (Maiese par. 1). The principles determining how the resources would be distributed would include the need, equity and equality (Maiese par 3).

The United Network for Organ Sharing has also created criteria to determine who is to receive a donated lung and at what period. The first one is that US citizens are more likely to get organs from foreigners and not the other way round. The number of the donated organs that the non US citizens get out of all the total number should therefore not be more than five percent (Williams’s par. 4). The other factor is given consideration is the age of the patient; a younger one is treated first.

If there are two patients one who is eighty years and the other one is only twenty years, the eighty years one is considered to have already lived long so the former will be given priority. However, all the other factors must be constant (William par. 7). Moreover, the system gives a greater chance to those who are the in critical condition. There are those who can wait for a year in the same condition while there are those who may die immediately if the transplant is not done within a month. In this case, the latter will be considered first.

However, survival chances must also be considered because someone may be too sick that even if he or she receives the transplant he or she will still die. Another one may not be too sick but on getting the transplant, his or her condition will become better. The latter will therefore be given first consideration (William par 8). The other consideration as earlier stated is blood and tissue type and the size of the donor. This means that the recipient must find a lung of a donor that has the same blood and tissue type as him of her to avoid agglutination and also the right size that can fit the recipient.

Looking at these considerations, it is very right to state that though the life of Todd Krampitz was saved and he had the right to live like any other citizen, the method that his family used to acquire the lung was unethical. One, there were over seventeen thousand patients who were on the national list and had applied before him. He was supposed to present his case to the United Network for Organ Sharing who would have determined the urgency of his case and set the date for the transplant.

Secondly, he used his money to advertise on his need for a lung, meaning that it is the power of money that worked. Those who were needier than him but poorer would die if everyone used that means. The act was a form of corruption and the government should use any means to discourage such an occurrence from happening again. Work Cited Associated Press. “Man Gets Liver after using Billboards, Net. ” Updated Aug. 2004. Accessed 18 Feb. 2009 <http://www. msnbc. msn. com/id/5685485/>. Caplan, Arthur. Cutting in Line for Organ Transplants.

Updated Aug. 2004. Accessed 18 May 2009 <http://www. msnbc. msn. com/id/5810779/>. <http://www. scu. edu/ethics/publications/submitted/allocating_organs. html>. Maiese, Michelle. “Distributive Justice. ” Uni. of Colorado. Updated Jun. 2003. Accessed 18 February 2009 <http://www. beyondintractability. org/essay/distributive_justice/>. Williams, Heidi. “Allocating a Future: Ethics and Organ Transplant. ” Santa Clara University. Updated 2008. Accessed 18 May 2009 <http://www. scu. edu/ethics/publications/submitted/allocating_organs. html>.