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Ethical Considerations of Pharmaceutical Company

A pharmaceutical company has developed a cure for cancer. They put it on the market and cure thousands of people. Their ongoing research, however, shows that it is not universally effective and that some who could be receiving other kinds of treatment, die as they wait to see if the drug will work. Also, as many as 7% of those who take the drug will die from adverse allergic reactions.

Give an argument in favor of leaving the drug on the market or removing it from the market based on a utilitarian law, a moral rights law, and a justice rule. How would you advise the CEO of this company and why?

Solution Preview

Under utilitarian law, the sum of the results is the most important consideration. So long as the net benefit outweighs the net loss or costs, then an act is acceptable. The consequences are weighed and a determination is made. As such, utilitarian law would mandate that since only 7% of patients taking the drug will likely die, more people will be helped than will be harmed. Although it is a saddening reality that many people will die as a result of taking this drug, they might die anyway. How, then, can the company be forced to remove the drug from the market and ...

Solution Summary

The solution describes what decision a pharmaceutical company might make when facing a moral question using utilitarian law, moral rights, and justice rule frameworks for moral decision making.