Monday, August 15, 2005

Heinz's Dilemma: My thoughts on it

Heinz's dilemma, as narrated by this site:

In Europe, a woman was near death from cancer. One drug might save her, a form of radium that a druggist in the same town had recently discovered. The druggist was charging $2000, ten times what the drug had cost him to make. The sick woman's husband, Heinz, went to everyone he knew to borrow the money, ut he could get together only about half of what it should cost. He told the druggist that his wife was dying and asked him to sell it cheaper or to let him pay later. But the druggist said no. The husband got desperate and broke into the man's store to steal the drug for his wife. Should the husband have done that? Why?

My answer: depends on what options does Heinz have at that time. If it turns out that the choice is the best one (or the only one) he have in the context of his situation, then yes, he is justified in his action. Do note that I do not condone the act of stealing in general, but the scenario he is in might be an exceptional circumstance that calls for an override/relaxation of the rule.

I'm tempted to directly say "No, he should instead go through the proper (ergo legal) channel in order to obtain the medication... e.g. plea his case to the authorities, to ask for their intervention.", but without knowing enough background info about his situation, I think that answer would be naively rash. Maybe he should, but then, maybe he couldn't, for various likely reasons. Corrupt government... ridiculous amount of paperwork needed, when the wife could die any time soon... or perhaps he's a renegade from the law... any of these and more other possible details could drive him to choose that option.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

matlamat tidak menghalalkan cara...

12:44 AM, September 04, 2005  
Blogger haya_shiloh said...

I agree, matlamat tidak menghalalkan cara ("The end does not justify the means"). But as I already explained in my 1st paragraph, sometimes, the act is understandable/forgivable under the circumstances.

Take for example, Khalifa Umar Ibn Khattab who decided against the commanded theiving punishment at one case, because the theft was motivated by the desperate need to survive during the time of famine.

12:51 AM, September 04, 2005  
Anonymous Ashwin said...

In the case of Hienz, its just the case of a dilemma betn care and morality. Any person would only be as desperate as Hienz to give the life-saving drug. Its just the case of man vs woman. a man jus has the courage to steal it whereas the woman could only think of it - hence by all means the moral development of both sexes are same - the added 'courage' factor in men makes the difference

Cheers, Ashwin, India

12:09 PM, November 15, 2005  

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