Give a Little Heart

TitleGive a Little Heart
Publication TypeCase Study
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsBoxall, SF, Funke, MB, Myers, GA, Watson, J
Date Published2016
PublisherAssociation for Practical and Professional Ethics
Publication Languageeng
AbstractWhen John and Sue find out that their unborn baby they have already named Tim is suffering from anencephaly, a condition where patients experience only the most basic of brainstem development, they consider donating their baby's organs once he is born. However, they soon learned that there were barriers to such a choice, and the law had them considering the very definition of life itself. While Tim was technically alive, he did not exhibit even the most basic reactions of a newborn, such as crying and bonding behaviors that help ensure survival in the wild. While their physician wanted to help keep Tim’s life from being lived in vain, she advised them that organ donation would illegal in their state unless Tim was dead, and once dead, his organs would likely go to waste unless they found a way around the rules against such donations.
NotesCase from the 2016 Regional Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl. Copyright, Association for Practical and Professional Ethics, 2016