The Cancer Industry: Can We Trust It?

by lina340 on February 10, 2015 - 1:00pm

As a student in Health Sciences, it is important to recognize the ethical issues that doctors, and health care professionals are faced with in the medical industry. With the increase in development of cancer treatments, many news articles and everyday-bloggers are debating whether or not there is an actual cure for this undying disease. However, if researchers ever do find a cure for cancer, will it even be put out on the market and available to the public? The cancer industry conspiracy causes a moral dilemma that forces workers to choose between their well-being and that of the unfortunate victims of this disease.

Although there is no concrete evidence that proves whether or not this conspiracy is true, it still raises a big issue to think about. Many have argued that cancer researchers are suppressing the cure for cancer. Cancer generates over a billion dollars per year for doctors and researchers, providing them with the one essential thing they need in order to survive: money. But, the issue lies within thinking about whether or not the money is put to good use. If cancer has the power to make such large sums of money through donations alone, why hasn’t a cure been found by now? If we suppose that this conspiracy is true, and that it is all one big scam, then health care professionals are basically exploiting the deathly conditions of suffering human beings by prolonging the search for a cure.

In the point of view of the health care professionals, the ethics being applied are teleological, rather than deontological. Teleology better describes the moral dilemma medical workers are faced with. They are torn between keeping their job because it is a source of revenue, and eliminating the disease with the highest mortality rate, which would in turn cause them to lose their source of revenue. Supposing that the conspiracy is true again, their summum bonum would be to keep their jobs in order to maintain their sustainable lifestyle. This would not be a case of utilitarianism nor selected altruism. Egoism, on the other hand, which concerns oneself, better describe the position workers are put through in this situation since it is human nature to put oneself before others. Deontology would be less applicable in this scenario since it requires people to follow morally defined maxims. If all those working in the cancer industry followed all of the rules, they wouldn’t allow others to die and suffer on their account, according to the conspiracy. There is however a possible compromise.

This moral dilemma can be resolved if the health care professionals applied utilitarianism rather than egoism. By prioritizing the greatest good for the greatest number, a cure will eventually be found. This does not necessarily mean that doctors and researchers will automatically lose their jobs. Researchers can continue find new ways to improve the practicalities or efficiency of the cure. Plus, due to the high demand for a cure, the money made from the full release will ostensibly outweigh the money made from the ongoing treatments. In this case, everyone is benefited.


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