Find your subject
in our database of
Spark your creativity...
an impressive essay!
Plasma International Company is in the middle of a dilemma, both moral and corporate. Plasma International provides "safe, uncontaminated and reasonably priced whole blood and blood plasma" to disaster areas as well as to other people in need. It seems that this company has turned to local African tries to provide a pure blood supply at prices as low as 90 cents per pint, and resells it to desperate hospitals for $150 per pint. Politicians and the media were having a "field day" with this latest-breaking story. The local community of Tampa, Florida is in an uproar, and has demanded that Plasma International's licenses to practice business be revoked. One of the company's founders, Sol Levin, has already been called into testify before the House Subcommittee on Medical Standards regarding Plasma International's "sale of blood for profit."
Some of the issues hotly debated include the moral abuses of the naive African persons, the "exorbitant" profit netted, and the company's earning from others' pain. Community leaders and spokespersons have expressed their shock at Plasma International taking advantage of the "poor" Africans, by paying them a pittance for their blood. The company counteracts with tribal chieftains, after negotiating with the State Department and the national government. The money they earned, the company argues, is spent on unspecified commodity maintenance costs. One can guess there would be fees for storage, screening, and transportation, to name a few. The company is also providing a needed service, being that reliable, pure blood is short in stock and highly demanded in times of crises.
Though this company is under fire for many of its activities, several widely accepted ethical procedures can be interpreted to approve of Plasma International's work. Similarly, popular moral standings condone its decisions and feel that the business strategy must change.
One of the main ethical theories is that of utilitarianism. This procedure details that an action is morally sound if it produces "the greatest amount of good for the greatest number of people." The good produced must outweigh any harm inflicted. By applying this to the case, one can see that more people are helped than harmed - Africans are paid for undergoing a simple donation act, and injured persons receive the desperately needed blood required for survival. The only party unsatisfied is the general community. Since thousands can live thanks to the blood transfusions, and only a couple hundred will vehemently protest, there is a greater good. Therefore, it is ethical for Plasma International to sell the blood at such prices.
In fact, in pure utilitarianism, they would be forced to sell the blood at this rate. Pure utilitarianism states that any actions are worth taking, as long as they maximize profit. The supply will be demanded at the price of $150 per pint, and should be sold for that amount. The African tribes entered into a legal contract after several levels of conference, and can be held accountable for their decision. Perhaps these persons are "naive," but that is not the issue in this utilitarian application.
Both hedonistic and eudaimonistic utilitarianism confirm that these actions are viable and proper. Hedonistic measures ethics in the basic values of human pleasure and pain (lack of pleasure); eudaimonistic suggests that we measure in happiness not pleasure, which differs in quality and quantity. Both the pleasure and happiness in this situation are attributed to the victims receiving the blood. Since they can now survive, they are satisfied with the conditions. Pain can possibly be accredited to the Africans for parting with their blood, but some pleasure and/or happiness is added for the idea that they have now saved someone's life. Again, positive is outweighing negative, and further operation is feasible.
Unlike the different types of utilitarianism, which agree on a quasi-compromise, the three categories of duties - special, familial, and role - each produce a varying outcome. Duties are defined as obligations that one must carry out.
Special duties declare that "a firm that harms others must make good that harm." (DeGeorge, 99) This means that Plasma International cannot morally continue paying so little to the Africans without making additional amends to their community. Taking the blood can be a "harm," and the people deserve reparations and gratitude for their obligations. Though one can consider the contract with the tribal leaders a "promise" which must be carried out, a case can be made for the naivete of the Africans. They did not realize they were being "suckered" into a disadvantageous agreement.
The duty acquired by role conflicts with special duties. When one accepts a position in a firm, they must accept certain responsibilities with it. They are now "oblige
Quotes talked about in this paper
Terminology mentioned in this research paper
Names talked about in this research material
Sol Levin, DeGeorge, Kathie Lee Clothing,
Organizations referenced in this paper
House Subcommittee on Medical Standards, State Department, national government, House Subcommittee, African government,
Locations mentioned in this paper
Tampa., United States, Florida,
Companies included in this term paper
Plasma International Company, Plasma International, Nike, Reebok,
Keywords talked about in this term paper
african, international, company, moral, pure blood, moral law, blood plasma, business, ethical, blood supply, pint, African people, procedures, United States government, moral responsibility, blood transfusions, Stakeholder Theory, utilitarianism, hospital, whole blood, distributive justice, african nations, special duties, social responsibility, community, local community, contracts, pleasure, international business, human rights violations, moral dilemma, amount, donation, Tampa, legal contract, implicit contract, morally right, market, desperate measures, national government, business strategy, prices, standards, big business, decision making, Community leaders, difference principle, socially responsible, other people, Kathie Lee,