Mike has a genetic kidney disease, which caused his kidney to fail at the age of 7. Mike has a biological child named John, who Mike knew would have a 100% chance of getting the disease. Now John is 7 and is beginning to show signs of kidney failure. If he doesn’t receive a kidney soon, he will die. Is Mike obligated to donate his kidney to his son?

  • Is this HW? We can help if you describe the context of the course it was assigned for, and describe your attempt to answer it. – Conifold Apr 16 at 23:09
  • Not for a course. I know nothing of ethics really, and this just came up in a debate I overheard. – Josh Goldman Apr 16 at 23:39
  • What else was the debate about, what were the positions of the debaters? Without ethical context and surrounding circumstances this is unanswerable. In a vacuum Mike is neither obligated nor not obligated to do anything. There is also something odd with the set up: if Mike's kidney already failed what use is it to John? One can say that Mike has a parental duty to his son, or that it would be virtuous to save him (but that does not necessarily create an obligation), or even that much depends on Mike's vs John's prognoses, e.g. sacrificing a life to save another life is never obligatory. – Conifold Apr 16 at 23:55
  • Mike is able to give a kidney and survive. Let's say, for the sake of the thought experiment, that Mike got both his kidneys replaced when he was younger. – Josh Goldman Apr 17 at 0:05
  • 2
    Isn't it obvious that if Mike's kidneys are already failing, they would be of no use to anyone else? – Bread Apr 17 at 2:40

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