Maddox Smith Staff asked 4 years ago

Physical Exercise

Bill is fifty, and has led an extremely unhealthy life for the last thirty years – drinking heavily, eating a very poor quality diet, and undertaking no physical exercise. He visits his doctor and is told that he has developed diabetes and that his kidneys have started to fail. Bill’s doctor informs him that his kidneys are likely to fail completely within the next two years. At that point, Bill will need continual dialysis treatment. His doctor informs him that the nature of his kidney failure means that his life-expectancy on dialysis will be around 5 years. Bill enquires about joining the waiting list for a donated kidney. His doctor informs him that the waiting list is long, and that it typically takes at least 8 years to find a suitable donor. However, the doctor says that if a suitable donor is found, then the transplant surgery means that Bill has a 90% chance of being alive in 10 years, as long as he continues to take immunosuppressants after the surgery. Bill asks his doctor whether it is possible to circumvent the waiting list by paying a donor for a kidney, but is informed that it is illegal to do so. Bill finds a clinic overseas that will guarantees to find a suitable donor within 12 months. The clinic informs him that they pay donors to obtain organs, but Bill is unable to find out whether this is done legally or illegally. The procedure would cost Bill $35,000. What should Bill do? Why? Your answer should include reference to the social and ethical issues raised.