An Inferior Vena Cava (IVC) filter is “a small cone-shaped device that is implanted in the inferior vena cava just below the kidneys” (Michigan Medicine). The use of the IVC filter is to “capture an embolism, a blood clot that has broken loose from one of the deep veins in the legs on its way to the heart and lungs” (Michigan Medicine). IVC filters have been used in medicine for over 30 years. IVC filters are more of a temporary solution in which they should be used in smaller increments of time rather than long periods of time. In the short run, IVC filters do almost no damage to the human body. However, when they are left in a patient too long they can do more harm to the person than they do good.
|The IVC Filter|
A stakeholder is anyone that has an interest or concern in something, typically a business. In this case, the stakeholders of the IVC filter are the manufacturers, doctors (hospitals) and patients that use them. The manufacturers of the filters are stakeholders because whatever happens to the people that use the filters can be because of how they manufactured their product. The patients that are being given the IVC filters would like to know where they come from and how they work. If the manufacturers cannot answer the questions of these people they could potentially find themselves losing business or potentially getting a lawsuit from a patient. The doctors that use the IVC filters are stakeholders because they are responsible for the affects that the filters give to their patients. Patients trust these doctors to help them with their medical issues. If a doctor implements an IVC filter into a patient and the filters backfire, the hospital and that doctor could potentially be liable for what happens to that patient. In Carolina’s case, she did not blame the doctors for what had happened to her but others may not feel the same way as she did. The patients of the IVC filters may be the most affected of all the stakeholders because it dangers their personal health. These filters have had a history of harming patients that use them so new patients have to realize the potential negative effects it may cause to them, which is something they really want to know.
|How the IVC Filter Works|
Utilitarianism explains that the only things that have intrinsic value are happiness and pleasure. A utilitarian would push for a business to make sure that they bring happiness and pleasure to everyone that they can. Utilitarianism would measure happiness of their stakeholders and look to see what they can change for the better of others. The manufacturers of the IVC filters have not pushed to make their business a happy and pleasurable business. If they were to find what is wrong with their product and fix it, they will make many people happy. If they were to compensate these people for their wrongdoings, they would bring even more happiness and pleasure. However, they have not done these things mostly because it would be very costly for them. If they compensate their patients or recall the product, they will have to spend a lot of their own money. Plus, there is no guarantee that this will reignite their business. Rather, they have not taken the blame for what has happened to these people. Carolina explains how she was not upset with the doctors, but the manufacturers because the doctors had little knowledge of what they were capable of, as well. According to Utilitarianism, the manufacturers were acting unethical because they simply did not bring any happiness or pleasure to the people that they had served their products to.
|Surgeons at Work|
The Virtue Theory consists of characteristics that “emphasize an individual’s character as the key element of ethical thinking, rather than rules about the acts themselves or their consequences” (Mastin). The four virtues that is stressed by the Virtue Theory are courage, honesty, temperance, and justice. Courage consists of risk-taking and the willingness to take a stand for the right ideas and actions. Honesty should always be used in business because many acts of business are based around honesty. Temperance is having “reasonable expectations and desires” (Soloman 34). Justice is all the hard work, good ideas, and fair practices that come together. Manufacturers of the IVC filter have had gotten a lot of fingers pointed at them for what has happened to the patients who were using them. If they followed the four virtues that are in the Virtue Theory they would make a lot of people less angry at them. They have not taken action for what they have done to their patients, which shows how they went against honesty and courage. It takes a lot of courage for someone to step up and admit that they were wrong. None of the manufacturers have been courageous enough to be honest about their product. Also, there is no justice that is being served. The manufacturers are not recalling their product to fix what they have wronged, which is no justice to neither the manufacturers nor the patients that were affected. Looking at this case from a virtue point of view, this case would be considered unethical.
Justified Ethical Decision
|The Use of the IVC Filter|
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