In the case study “Corneas in the Congo”, the problem that was presented was a parasite has caused ten people to go blind, five of them were children. Doctors without Borders would perform the surgery; however they didn’t have the corneas needed to do the surgery. A Chinese Aid Agency had twenty corneas available, however they bought body parts from executed prisoners. The warden of the prisons executes very liberally, so people could profit on their own behalf by selling the body parts to middle men. The moral dilemma would be should the small aid agency use the corneas?
Well to come to an ethical decision for this case scenario I would use Utilitarianism. Utilitarianism is do the greatest good for the greatest amount of people. Since the prisoners were executed and no longer needed the corneas then it would have done the greater good for the 10 people who needed aid. However, it really depends on the way you look at it. I choose to look at it the former, but if the warden wasn’t able to profit on selling these body parts, would these prisoners have still been executed? If even for a day longer, then Utilitarianism would have said the agency should not accept the bribe because the prisoners would have been the greatest amount of people, but not necessarily for the greater good.
The Altruism perspective would have definitely been against using the corneas for surgery because people are never a means to an end, but they are the end. It advocates loving your neighbor, even if they are prisoners. And by this standard exciting them and selling their body parts without consent would have violated this principle. Same with justice as fairness, this would have violated the principal of equality, and the least advantaged. Even prisoners live should be valued.
Kant’s Categorical Perspective
Kant’s Categorical Perspective would have been against buying the corneas because it would have violated “what’s right for one is right for all” principle. With communities this would have violated the principle of putting our responsibilities above rights and seeking the common good. So in order to justify the choice I would have made, I would perform the surgery with the corneas. I would use the utilitarianism perspective because the kids and adults who are more or less innocent could have their sight back. Plus if they already executed the prisoners some good thing good could come out of their death.