Posted by: Alexandre Borovik | December 28, 2016

Immorality of forcing choice on others

I very much hope that this story is a hoax, I tried to locate the source on the Internet, but failed.

If it is not a hoax, then it is a huge breach of profession norms- made in a hurry and under stress, but still a breach. One should not put children in the situation of choice almost impossible for them -teachers should remember that. Actually, it is not a good idea to force moral  choice on people. In most  cases, it is immoral to force moral choice on others.

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Responses

  1. Snopes to the rescue: http://www.snopes.com/glurge/transfuse.asp

  2. I’ve heard this fellow’s story somewhere before, and rather suspect that if it’s not a complete confabulation, then it describes a misconception that lots of very young brothers of young sisters fall into.

    If it were a true story, then it would be a breach of confidentiality only on naming the patient or the donor or a parent. It does seem weird for a hospital not to have O- on hand, but never mind that: the doctor in the story doesn’t even imagine until after the fact that he’s given the boy a life-or-death choice: but neither can he morally tap the child’s arteries without getting some consent from him. More: even understanding that a parent can and should provide *legal* consent, to think that the boy’s will is over-riden by parental consent is to misunderstand consent rather badly.

    But I agree that the tweet represents poor judgment: here is a surgeon, a University Graduate trained in sciences and all that, repeating an old sappy-if-sweet story — whose original purpose is to highlight how much a brother loves his sister and how innocent young children are — apparently hoping to shine in some reflected glory by casting himself as a secondary hero in the fable.


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