Double Edged Sword

Topics: Alcoholism, Cirrhosis, Alcohol Pages: 2 (650 words) Published: December 8, 2011
Double Edged Sword

Alcohol can change a person’s life in an instant. One bad decision caused by drinking could lead up to someone losing their life. Sometimes people have second chances, but if they do not know how to take advantage of them, they might regret it later in life. I agree that Jake should not be able to get another liver transplant, is morally impermissible because of donor livers are extremely scarce and liver transplants are very expensive to perform. I propose that alcoholics who have done nothing to better their condition should be placed at the bottom of the waiting list for liver transplants. Alcoholics who have received treatment and improved their quality of life for a substantial period of time should be able to compete equally for liver transplants. I base my proposal on the considerations of fairness and distributive justice. Scarcity of donor livers forces us to make a decision in regards to who receives transplants and people who have liver damage due to no fault of their own should not be punished. In society today people must be held accountable for their mistakes. I agree that we should not judge addicts or anybody’s choices, desires or actions because every person has the right to autonomy, and sometimes it is out of their control. “It is unfair or indeed punitive to exclude alcoholics from consideration for liver transplantation because of moral vice or an irresponsible lifestyle” (Glannon, 448). I understand that Glannon’s views are different than mine; he is explaining that sometimes people do not have control over certain diseases such as alcoholism, but I believe that patients who are still drinking alcohol should be held responsible for their behavior. If Jack has already received a liver transplant he should be in the bottom waiting list because he is not doing anything to help himself to get better. “Alcoholics should be given lower priority for a new liver because their moral vice of heavy drinking makes them...

Cited: Walter Glannon. “Responsibility, Alcoholism, and Liver Transplantation”.
Contemporary Bioethics: a Reader with Cases. New York: Oxford
University Press, 2010. Print.
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