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Heinz Theroy


            In Heinz's dilemma in which a man's wife is suffering from cancer but unfortunately, he cannot afford to pay for the medication that would probably save her life, so he considers stealing the over-priced medication. The action portrayed by Kantianism based on the Categorial Imperative, and the second Categorial Imperative would be not to steal the medication. Approaching the same dilemma using Utilitarianism, the action dictated would be to steal the medication based on the principal of utility, Act-utilitarianism, and satisfice. However the more compelling normative theory to apply in this case is utilitarianism based on satisfice.
             The Categorial Imperitive from Kantianism says, "Act in such a way that you always treat humanity, whether in your own person or in the person of any other, never simply as a means but always at the same time as an end" (Popkin and Stroll). In other words, always put yourself within the position of everyone else around you. His action of stealing the medication would only be morally right if it was possible to will its maxim to be universal. In the given situation, to will the maxim of stealing would create conflict, thus making it not permissible to become "a general rule" (Popkin and Stroll). This rule clearly reflects the well-known moral of "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you" (Popkin and Stroll), which leads to the Second Categorial Imperitive. To treat the doctor who made the medication "as a means" in order to achieve what he wants "is to disregard his/her humanity" (Popkin and Stroll) and "to fail to show due respect" for the doctor and his property. To refrain from stealing is a general rule, and this would lead to the conclusion that the husband should not steal the medication under the First and Second Categorial Imperatives.
             Utilitarianism is based upon the principle of utility, which mirrors the pleasure principle. This principle "states that an action is right if it produces the greatest amount of pleasure for the greatest number" (Popkin and Stroll, 32-35).


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