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A Moral Dilemma

Posted by on Jan. 6, 2015 at 9:17 AM
  • 221 Replies

Here's a classical moral dilemma:

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 produce. 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 Heinz have broken into the laboratory to steal the drug for his wife? Why or why not?


Note: Don't just say "yes" or "no".   The way you support your particular answer, is more important for the purposes of my question (which I'll reveal later), than the answer itself.

Edited to add:

If you prefer video, here's a video presenting the same dilemma:


by on Jan. 6, 2015 at 9:17 AM
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Replies (1-10):
mikiemom
by Gold Member on Jan. 6, 2015 at 9:45 AM
3 moms liked this

Yes, ultimately in the grand scheme of things he should have left the 200$ for what he actually took. So on the surface of things stealing is wrong however, the drugist is actually committing theft as well. In my opinion the what the drugist was doing was much worse that what Heinz did.

The pharmaceutical companies on this planet suck ass.

No-one should make money or profit from illness and death.

Mrs.KAZ
by Silver Member on Jan. 6, 2015 at 9:59 AM
3 moms liked this
No, stealing is not the answer.

What would happen if the husband was caught and put in jail? She would still not receive the drug and there would be no one to care for her. Two wrongs do not make a right. There are ways to raise money, or to persuade the druggist.
mikiemom
by Gold Member on Jan. 6, 2015 at 10:05 AM

 Do you think the pharmicist is morally right for what he is doing?

Quoting Mrs.KAZ: No, stealing is not the answer. What would happen if the husband was caught and put in jail? She would still not receive the drug and there would be no one to care for her. Two wrongs do not make a right. There are ways to raise money, or to persuade the druggist.

 

rocketracer
by Gold Member on Jan. 6, 2015 at 10:07 AM
1 mom liked this
1. Two wrongs don't make a right....however, the druggist can charge what ever the druggist deems appropriate to the "recipe"...stealing is illegal

2. In today's digital age Heinz should have opened a Go Fund Me Page.

3. Heinz should have stolen the medicine and written a blog about his experience. A herd of high profile attorneys would try to attach themselves to his plight to take on his case pro bono....just to boost their own business...

4. Also in today's digital age, Heinz's blog could possibly start a media hell storm for the druggist so that the druggist would have been publicly shamed for lack of compassion...so much so that the druggist's business would fail and be forced into bankruptcy, hence; forcing the druggist to sell the "recipe" at a fraction of the cost to a pharmaceutical company.
Mrs.KAZ
by Silver Member on Jan. 6, 2015 at 10:22 AM
No, I don't agree with the druggist either. What he is doing is making money at people's desperation. But, unless it is illegal, he can do that. He will answer for his selfish and greedy ways at some point.

But stealing the drug will not help either. Even if the wife was saved, there would be further repercussions from the theft. There are ways to get the money, and the druggist could be persuaded maybe to lower his price.


Quoting mikiemom:

 Do you think the pharmicist is morally right for what he is doing?


Quoting Mrs.KAZ: No, stealing is not the answer. What would happen if the husband was caught and put in jail? She would still not receive the drug and there would be no one to care for her. Two wrongs do not make a right. There are ways to raise money, or to persuade the druggist.

 

mikiemom
by Gold Member on Jan. 6, 2015 at 10:25 AM
1 mom liked this

 oh I see - the law is something to be followed as long as you are making profit from it.

I still think the bigger crime is being committed by the drugist. We were talking moral not whether something was legal or not.

Quoting Mrs.KAZ: No, I don't agree with the druggist either. What he is doing is making money at people's desperation. But, unless it is illegal, he can do that. He will answer for his selfish and greedy ways at some point. But stealing the drug will not help either. Even if the wife was saved, there would be further repercussions from the theft. There are ways to get the money, and the druggist could be persuaded maybe to lower his price.
Quoting mikiemom:

 Do you think the pharmicist is morally right for what he is doing?

Quoting Mrs.KAZ: No, stealing is not the answer. What would happen if the husband was caught and put in jail? She would still not receive the drug and there would be no one to care for her. Two wrongs do not make a right. There are ways to raise money, or to persuade the druggist.

 

 

VibeRant
by on Jan. 6, 2015 at 10:26 AM

The druggist is being greedy so he is not moral. The man needing the meds should not steal from the druggist because that would not be the moral thing to do either. If the meds are not patented, the man needing them could always hire someone to replicate the drug for a cheaper price (if that's an option).

mikiemom
by Gold Member on Jan. 6, 2015 at 10:27 AM
4 moms liked this

And this is why many Americans will never be ready for Universal Healthcare because they see nothing morally wrong with profiting from death and illness. WWYJD

Clairwil
by Platinum Member on Jan. 6, 2015 at 10:31 AM


Quoting VibeRant:

If the meds are not patented, the man needing them could always hire someone to replicate the drug for a cheaper price (if that's an option).

For the purposes of the question, assume that there really are only two options on the table:

  • Steal the drug, keep the wife alive
  • Don't steal the drug, and the wife dies

One could go into all sort of technical details of how to avoid the dilemma by raising money in other ways, but that misses the point: what do you do when there is a dilemma you can't avoid?

Mrs.KAZ
by Silver Member on Jan. 6, 2015 at 10:35 AM
1 mom liked this
What the druggist is doing is not moral. But the druggist lack of morals, does not mean that Heinz should go against his morals and steal.

People who lack morals, don't care about other people, and are just for themselves. But does stealing from an amoral person really help? Because I'm pretty sure the druggist would prosecute poor Heinz to the hilt. So how does that help Heinz or his wife?

Show the druggist who is the bigger person. And obtain the drug without stealing. Like a pp said, if people complain or protest, or hurt the druggist business, a difference could be made too.


Quoting mikiemom:

 oh I see - the law is something to be followed as long as you are making profit from it.


I still think the bigger crime is being committed by the drugist. We were talking moral not whether something was legal or not.


Quoting Mrs.KAZ: No, I don't agree with the druggist either. What he is doing is making money at people's desperation. But, unless it is illegal, he can do that. He will answer for his selfish and greedy ways at some point. But stealing the drug will not help either. Even if the wife was saved, there would be further repercussions from the theft. There are ways to get the money, and the druggist could be persuaded maybe to lower his price.
Quoting mikiemom:

 Do you think the pharmicist is morally right for what he is doing?


Quoting Mrs.KAZ: No, stealing is not the answer. What would happen if the husband was caught and put in jail? She would still not receive the drug and there would be no one to care for her. Two wrongs do not make a right. There are ways to raise money, or to persuade the druggist.

 


 

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