Becton Dickerson

Topics: AIDS, HIV, Hypodermic needle Pages: 2 (480 words) Published: November 9, 2012
In your judgment, did Becton Dickinson have an obligation to provide the safety syringe in all its sizes in 1991? Explain your position, using the materials from this chapter and the principles of utilitarianism, rights, justice, and caring Becton Dickerson is one of the largest manufacturers of medical supplies,dominates the market in disposable syringes and needles. In 1986, BectonDickinson had acquired exclusive rights to a patent for a new syringe invented byCharles B. Mothball that had a moveable protective sleeve around it. The plastictube around the syringe could slide down to rarely cover the needle.1992, a nurse, Maryann Rockwood, used a Becton Dickinson 5 cc syringeand needle to drew blood from a patient know to be infected with AIDS. Ms.Rockwood Worked in a clinic that served AIDS patients, and she drew blood from their patients several times a day. After drawing the blood on this particular day,she transferred the AIDS contaminated blood to a retile test tube called a restrainertube by sticking the needle through the rubber stopper of the lest tube, which shewas bolding with her other hand. She accidentally pricked her finger with thecontaminated needle. She is now HIV positive.For removing this problem, on December 23.1996, the U.S patent officeissued patent number 4,631,05y to Charles B Mitchell for a syringe with a tubesurrounding the body of the syringe that could be pulled down to cover and protectthe needle on the syringe. As Mitchell noted in his patent application, those devicesall suffered from serious drawbacks. One of them would not lock the protectivecover over the exposed needle, one was extremely complex, another much longerthan a standard syringe and difficult to use, and a fourth was designed primarily foruse on animals.So, it can be said that Becton Dickinson has not an obligation to provide thesafety syringe in all its sizes. The company decided to market only a 3 cc versionof the protective sleeve. For 5 years, Becton Dickinson...
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