Write a 1,050- to 1,400-word paper in which you analyze the Mickey Mantle case using the Seven-Step Decision Model.
Resource: Ch. 1 of Health Care Ethics (6th ed.).
Resource: Ch. 1 of Health Care Ethics (6th ed.)
Mickey Mantle received a liver transplant in 1995. He was a Baseball Hall of Fame center fielder for the New York Yankees whose liver was failing because of cirrhosis and hepatitis. Although the waiting period for a liver transplant in the United States is about 130 days, it took only two days for the Baylor Medical Center’s transplant team to find an organ donor for the 63-year-old former baseball hero.According to the director of the Southwest Organ Bank, Mantle was moved ahead of others on the list because of his deteriorating medical condition; however, there were mixed feelings about speeding up the process for a celebrity. Mantle was known for overcoming immense obstacles, and many argued that the medical system should provide exceptions for heroes. He was also a recovering alcoholic, which further complicated the ethical implications of the case. Because of Mantle’s medical problems, doctors estimated that he had only a 60 percent chance for a three-year survival; whereas, liver transplant patients typically have about a 78 percent chance for a three-year survival rate.
As in the case of the liver transplant for Mickey Mantle, should the system make exceptions for real heroes? Why or why not?
Biomedical Ethics-Analyze the Mickey Mantle case using the Seven-Step Decision Model.
Medical services are paramount to any country .and the government of each and every country strives to ensure that all its citizens have access to quality medical services. However, despite all the government efforts to provide these services, the healthcare practitioners have a significant role to play. To help aid justice and fairness in the health care sector, medical institutions have put in place rules of behavior based on the ideas and concepts about what is morally good or bad to guide their activities and operations (Sachedina, 2009). Medical ethics is a system of moral principles that apply values and judgments to the practice of medicine. Medical ethics encompasses its practical application in a workplace setting.
Mantles transplant raised a delicate question about organ allocation and the general ethics of the health care sector. Mickey, a baseball Hall of Fame center fielder for the new York Yankees, received a liver transplant after only waiting for 48 hours while other patients take as long as 180 days to receive an organ. Mickey’s liver was failing because if cirrhosis and hepatitis and his health were deteriorating at a very high rate and something had to be done very fast. Unfortunately, he died after two months because of cancer and his transplant raised a lot of ethical question from various sectors. Some of the people supported this action while others were against this idea. One of the primary questions the common citizens were asking is whether the celebrity system prevails in the field of organ transplantation. Moreover, there was also the debate of whether medical systems and organ transplant should make exceptions for real heroes when it comes to receiving medical attention.
Making ethical decision and choices requires the capability and ability to differentiate between competing options. Below is a seven step decision model that will attempt to analyze whether the medical system should make an exception for real heroes.
Stop and think
This stage helps to prevent rash decisions and prepares medical practitioners for more discernment and can allow them to mobilize their discipline. At this stage, doctors and nurses have to sit down and think of whom to be on the first on the receiving list. The decision arrived at this stage will affect the public relations of the organ transplant considering that if the general public can refuse to donate organs or refuse to contribute funds to help in the transplant. As a result, the celebrity system should not be implemented, and real heroes should not be given exceptions regardless of their status and financial ability (Humber, 2013).
Clarification of goals
Before choosing, it prudent to clarify both the short-term and long-term aims of the actions that are about to be undertaken. Determining the positive and adverse effects of the decision about to be made are very crucial since it can help to protect the long-term goals and activities of the facility and system at large. All the decisions made should be aligning with the objectives and goals of the system. In our case, despite being a celebrity and a hero had to follow protocol to receive the organs. UNOS criteria are to offer priority to those centers closest to the patient, and he was he was a patient at the transplant center in Dallas.
Before performing the transplant or the surgery, the involved doctors should ensure they have adequate information to support an intelligent choice. To determine these facts, the panel needs to resolve what they know and then what they need to know. Having adequate information about the condition of the patient ensures that the panel offering the organs will have a priority list based on the health and survival chances of the patients. Mickey was first on the donor list not because he was a celebrity but because he was very ill and waiting for the 130 days before receiving the liver would have jeopardized his survival chances.
Once the medical system knows what it wants to achieve and has made the best reasonable opinion based on the facts and information provided it is necessary to take important steps to accomplish the identified goals. The panel that offered an organ to Mickey had one sole goal of saving his life and had to develop opinions on whether to treat cancer or to fully change the organ. To determine whether the liver will suit his condition the doctors conducted several tests to establish the extent of his cancer. After considerations, the doctors felt that transplant was the only way to save his life (Beauchamp, 2007).
Before arriving at any decision, the system has to filter all the options to determine whether they violate any core ethical values. The operating panel on Mickey had to filter the option of operating on him and identify the possible consequences, especially from the general public. Some felt it was fair and others unfair. However, just like the practice of sorting casualty in a battlefield by the severity of their wounds, allocation of organs should be based on the severity of the disease and not social status of a person.
Related: Ethics in American Red Cross
Make a choice
At this stage, those in charge of the systems have to choose what is in the best interest of the organization and not their personal interests. Some of the choices made might be immediately and should be carried out as fast as possible like in our case to save the life of Mickey while at times these decisions might not be immediate. At times before making a choice, an individual is forced to seek an opinion from people whose judgment they respect in this case the public opinion. If the public is against the celebrity system, then the organization in charge of the donation of the organs should listen to them.
Monitor and modify
Ethical decision-makers should monitor the effects of their choices. If the decisions by any chance the decisions results in unwanted and unintended outcomes, they have to re-assess the situation and make new and better decisions. Allocating the organ to a celebrity in the very short period ahead of another patient may cause public out roar and negative publicity. However, they cannot undo whatever has been done and in our case, they have to justify their actions and ensure an occurrence of a similar case they make a better decision.
In conclusion after a detailed and deep research, we can say that the celebrity system does not go well with the common citizens and should not be practiced in any state. To exercise the rule of law, morality, justice and fairness, all people should be treated equally (Beauchamp, 2007). There should be no exception because the health of every citizen is critical. Equality and fairness should bring accountability, transparency and trust in medical systems. Before making any ethical decision, the sent step decision model should be exploited.
Beauchamp, T. L. (2007). The ‘four principles’ approach to health care ethics. Principles of health care ethics,, 3-10.
Humber, J. M. (2013). Biomedical ethics and the law. . Springer Science & Business Media.
Sachedina, A. (2009). Islamic biomedical ethics: principles and application. . Oxford University Press.