This assignment (A1) is designed to assess your ability to identify the key ethical aspects of a situation. It addresses the first course objective—recount concrete examples of issues dealing with ethics and values—and the graduate qualities related to body of knowledge, problem-solving, ethical action, and effective communication.
Description of the assignment
Read Case 2.1 ‘Blood for sale’ in your MIB textbook (pp. 99-101).
Then answer the following questions:
- Tell me whether each of the following statements is descriptive or normative, and briefly explain your answer:
- ‘Business went smoothly and profitably…’
- ‘A commercialised system discourages voluntary donors.’
- ‘No commercialised system of blood donation should exist.’
- ‘Selling body parts, such as blood or kidneys, raises a number of ethical concerns.’
- Assess the morality of a commercialised market in blood from the point of view of:
- utilitarianism (act utilitarianism and rule utilitarianism)
- deontology (Kant’s ethics)
- In your view, which system of the distribution of blood is better—the US system or the non-commercial systems in Australia, New Zealand, or the British NHS? Explain in some detail why you consider your preferred system to be morally superior. How did you arrive at this moral judgment? You can—but do not have to—refer back to Q2 in your answer.
- Briefly comment on the suggestion that context matters in all ethical decision making, including your moral reasoning process in this case. What specific context, for example, may be important in this case? Is the acknowledgement that ‘context matters’ equivalent to a belief in ethical relativism?