John Q: An Ethical Analysis and Review.
March 8, 2011
The film John Q provides a model for the analysis and demonstration of ethical principles of distributive justice as they pertain to healthcare and, more specifically, organ allocation in the face of scarcity. The film portrays the shortcomings of a managed care system as well as the pitfalls of a libertarian approach to allocation. Here discussed are the ethical approaches of Eglitarianism, Prioritarianisn, Utilitarianism, and Libertarianism to organ allocation as they pertain to the film as well as the situational change in the plot if these approaches were considered. The topics of hopelessness and helplessness experienced by the patient and
…show more content…
To further complicate the situation, the hospital administrator informed the Archibald family that their insurance had changed from a PPO to an HMO type plan and that the transplant surgery is considered an elective procedure and would not be covered by their insurance. The insurance company issued by his employer informs John that the policy had changed and that only $20,000 of the required $250,000 will be paid under the claim. John Q then decided to take measures into his own hands and persuades the head of the cardiology department to find a replacement heart for the boy at gunpoint. He takes the cardiologist and several patients hostage and demands that his son be placed on the recipient list. One of the predominant points made in the film is that the process of organ allocation is often unjust by the libertarian approach that is used when dealing with a managed care system that provides insufficient coverage for the terminally ill. The film implies that the decision making process of organ distribution id too greatly influenced by the recipient’s ability to pay for the treatment and does not sufficiently consider the patient’s deserving of the organ based on his life experience, usefulness and right to equitable treatment. The effects of organ procurement can instill a sense of helplessness in those linked to the patient dying from a terminal condition. The picture illustrates the manifestation of this