Umberto’s Drastic Decision

628 words | 3 page(s)

The case scenario indicates that Umberto is someone who cares so much about his family, more than his body. He is willing to sell his kidneys just to ensure he provides his family with basic needs such as food. However, he will have to approach the situation carefully because the practice is illegal in the area in which he comes from. Besides, he will be risking life by giving out his kidneys since he could end up dying, or developing complications that will put the economic situation of his family at risk. From a utilitarian perspective, the actions of Umberto are meant to maximize a necessary utility because acquiring money will lead to the happiness of the entire family, at least for the next two years. However, the happiness of the majority would compel him to suffering, especially when he develops complications during the process of removing the kidney (Bentham 21).

Utilitarianism focuses more on the actions of individuals. It states an action must be measured based on its consequence. If a move results in pleasure for the majority, it must be pursued. However, an action should be avoided if it brings pain and suffering to any member of the family. By selling the kidney, the family is assured of economic stability for the next two years, including the person donating it. It, therefore, means that Umberto has maximized the utility of his kidney. The family could have suffered, including him, if he does not sell the kidney. If he remains with it, he will be following the law since the state’s regulations do not permit such actions.

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Looking at his actions from the natural law standpoint, selling the kidney is unethical because Umberto, just like any other human being, has inherent rights, by virtue of human nature, which cannot be denied. The philosophy insists on the usage of reason to interpret issues and solve problems. Human beings are special; they should not do anything which jeopardizes their life. If Umberto gives out his kidney, he will be at a risk of contracting diseases because he will be using only one kidney. Therefore, he should think of other ways of acquiring money to feed the family other than risking his health by selling his body parts. The body, according to natural law, is the most important part in human life because it allows reasoning (Wild 33). The law further indicates that a human being is made up of the body and the mind, physical and the non-physical. The two forms of human beings are inextricably connected hence one should lead the other. Trying to dispose part of the body to sustain the rest is, therefore, a result of unreasonable judgment. As the head of the family, Umberto can do much more to cater for the needs of the members of his family.

The last philosophy, virtue ethics, interprets the situation differently. The postulation places more emphasis on the mind and the character of the individual. Just like utilitarianism, human beings should strive to achieve eudemonia, or happiness, which alludes to human development, or progress (Russell 87). The most important aspect of a human being is reason because it enables people to make accurate judgments. From this perspective, Umberto should reconsider his decision to dispose the kidney because it amounts to pain and suffering to him, as well as the rest of the family members. The family will forever be unhappy if it realizes that its head had to sacrifice his body part for them to continue living. If any member of the family were seriously sick, making such a sacrifice would be accepted. However, he has not consulted the rest of the family to see whether they are in dire need of help because, at present, they are doing well.

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