Common Goods Testing

Topics: Ethics, Immanuel Kant, Goods Pages: 4 (1519 words) Published: December 23, 2012
In the story of the Sole Remaining Supplier, a company who supplied pacemaker equipment was debating on whether or not they should continue due to numerous ethical issues. The company, also the sole remaining suppliers, felt that they should discontinue selling equipment because if the product stopped working, it could lead to major lawsuits and they did not want to deal with these ethical issues. In this paper, I will apply steps A through D of the Utility Test to this case and I will also apply the Common Good Test to this case as well. After comparing and contrasting the Utility Test with the Common Good Test, I will then determine which test is the most informative in terms of my evaluation of the case. Utility Test Steps in the Sole Remaining Supplier Case

“For the utility test (or “Utilitarian Principle”), the consequences or outcomes determine what is right or wrong.  For this principle the ends justify the means: an action is right if it creates the best overall outcome” (Hamilton, 2009). Step A asks the question “Are we maximizing good and minimizing harm for all those affected” (Hamilton, 2009). Before making drastic decisions, there are always good and bad consequences to the outcome. In the Sole Remaining Supplier case, the company thought that they would have been maximizing good if they would have discontinued selling pacemaker equipment to other companies, because if the equipment became faulty, their company would be held liable. On the other hand, the company involved thought that the distributing company would have maximized harm because they were the only company that sold these products and if it were discontinued; people who depended on this equipment would eventually suffer. Step B asks the question “why is utility a valid way to decide right and wrong” (Hamilton, 2009). In the Sole Remaining Supplier case, continuing to supply pacemaker equipment would have made the most happiness, because instead of thinking about...
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