State University of New York Institute of Technology
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Public-Health Issues Prominent in World Press Part I (Cheney's Heart Transplant)

Recently former Vice President Dick Cheney recieved a heart transplant at age 71. The issue arrises about preferential treatment since organs are a limited and scarce resource. Many ask the question of whether the heart should have gone to a younger patient.

Ethicist James Taylor states that preferential treatment based on potential life can lead to making judgements based on "social worth" and "that gets very frightening very quickly".

I believe that James Taylor is correct on this issue. While preferential treatment is hard to avoid, especially when celebreties are involved, it must still be limitied. Though his celebrity status probably had some effect on the transplant, the transplants cannot be made merely on who will live longer or quality of life. It is a delicate question on who to give a transplant to, and not one to be made lightly. There is no easy way out on an issue like this and any simple sollution will likely lead to issues.


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