An ethics question

Discussion in 'Philosophy' started by Slake Moth, Oct 10, 2010.

  1. In Europe, a woman was near death from a special kind of cancer. There was one drug that the doctors thought might save her. It was a form of radium that a druggist in the same town had recently discovered. The drug was expensive to make, but the druggist was charging ten times what the drug cost him to make. He paid $200 for the radium and charged $2,000 for a small dose of the drug. The sick woman's husband, Heinz, went to everyone he knew to borrow the money, but he could only get together about $ 1,000 which is half of what it cost. He told the druggist that his wife was dying and asked him to sell it cheaper or let him pay later. But the druggist said: "No, I discovered the drug and I'm going to make money from it." So Heinz got desperate and broke into the man's store to steal the drug-for his wife. Should the husband have done that? Why or why not?
  2. i want to be called self-actualized
    how do i answer?
  3. Its wrong to steal, but thats a dick of a doctor, she needed help and money was the problem, shit i would have done it
  4. He ought to have done it for the sake of his wife. He ought not to have done it because it was stealing. The man's actions were made in desperation for a just cause, however his means are unjustifiable. In the end, it is the druggist who ought to have sold him the drug.
  5. LMAO thanks for the memory trip man, went over that exact question in ToK 5+ years ago
  6. We live in a world where the strong survive. If the druggist could not protect his product, it is his fault or being weak. The husband followed the same method that has been followed since man was introduced. The strong do as they shall, the weak do as they must.
  7. The druggist could have received ample payment, but refused. In turn, he was stolen from by a man he knew to be desperate. Karma is a bitch. The "strong" may do as they shall but they shall also reap what they sow.
  8. Stealing is generally wrong but in matters of life and death I think people should attain what they need by any means necessary, as any animal would.

    I've heard this before in school.
  9. Scarcity causes problems. Money fucked them both in the anerrrrhole.
  10. The husband did the right thing.
    If a person's claims to private property infringe upon another's human rights, I think it's moreso a moral obligation to displace property for the sake of life.
  11. The husband was wrong. He initiated aggression against the person who was in possession of that which he desired but could not otherwise trade for.

    The radium may have only cost the scientist $200, but it was his labor which made the radium into a drug treatment that might have been applicable to the illness. Without his labor, the radium itself would have been useless for this particular case. As such, the scientist could subjectively value his property at whatever value he wished.

    When the man stole the property of the scientist, he committed theft. He essentially took the scientists property and labor as his own, which is to say he infringed upon the natural rights of the scientist. Not only did the husband take the scientist's property, he claimed ownership of the scientist's labor as well; essentially this equates to the husband claiming some degree of ownership over the scientist--or in other words, slavery.

    The scientist did not make the wife have cancer. As unfortunate as it is that the wife did have cancer, and as understandable as it is for a man to go to any lengths necessary to save the one he loves; the husband was still in the wrong here. This is not to say that the scientist could not have acted more decently or compassionately, but in terms of morality and ethics--the husband was acting immorally.

    Another problem with solely blaming the scientist is that the blame directed toward the scientist is because he is apparently charging so much for the treatment. In the scenario described in the OP, however, it is said that he was able to raise $1000 from various sources. If one is going to blame the scientist, why would equal blame not be weighed upon those who refused to provide the husband with the remaining $1000? Why not blame his neighbors? His family? His bank? His community? His government? His other family doctors? How are any of these elements of the husband/wife's life any less accountable in this way in comparison to the scientist?

    The fact remains that it was the husband who initiated aggression after burdening a third party for the misfortune which befell his wife.
  12. id steal it , its natures gift hes hording
  13. It might be societies fault she got cancer, it would make whatever the people in society actions be immoral because of the way they're living.
  14. Your post contains insufficient information to properly answer the questions it asks.

    How long did the druggist have to research and labor to make the drug? We have the material cost, now we need an understanding of a fair labor cost.

    If - as the post appears to be trying to convince me - it is a case of a person using another person's life as an opportunity to bully someone out of more money than they deserve, then I would say that the law is made for man and not man for the law. But that's a very big if.

    All of the wrongs appear to be done by the man who needs the cure, with only implied wrongs by the druggist. If he asked a fair price, it is not excusable that he would have had his work stolen, especially given there is no indication that any of the $1000 collected by the man stealing it was left in its place to compensate his labor in any way.
  15. #15 TotallyToked, Oct 10, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 10, 2010
    Screw that--I totally disagree.

    Its not my fault the dude is dieing, and it isn't the pharmacists fault either. Why should he be penalized? (In the sense of losing the extra $1k he could get selling it to someone who can afford his prices.)

    Sounds like you are touting a communist system (or a commie light system).

    If someone earned something, you just say "too bad, this other guy needs it"? Thats not cool.

    Now, that said, sure, it would have been very nice for the pharmacist to help the guy out. I would probably have done so, were I the pharmacist. But I heartily disagree that he is morally obligated to do so. (I'd probably consider him an asshole, but it still isn't right, in my mind, to take stuff from people to help other people.)

    I should also say that if I were in the man with the sick wife's shoes, I would steal the cure too (but I would think I was acting immorally to do so--I just wouldn't care, if it would save my wife)
  16. maybe people just need to make more money? problem solved...
  17. Well the human thing to do is to steal the drug for his wife. But it is wrong to steal no matter what the situation.

    And anybody who says that the doctors an asshole is an idiot. Hes just like the health buisness. Why do you think there will never be a cure for cancer, aids, or other things like that. Cus why give some one a cure for 1000$ when you can give them a treatment many times for 2000$ per tretmeant and make ALOT of money.

    There was a cure for some desease but i forgot the name and a company bought the patent from the guy who made it and they hide if from people and only givrle out treatments for the desease they could cure.
  18. Kohlberg's Theory of Moral Development.
  19. take what you need, end of story.

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