Business Ethics John Q

8 August 2016

The movie, John Q, tells the story of a man who is put to the test to save his ten-year old son. John Q Archibald is the father of Michael, a young, athletic, seemingly healthy boy. During Michael’s baseball game one afternoon however, he suddenly collapses due to heart failure. After being rushed the Emergency Room the Archibald’s are informed of the worst. Dr. Raymond Turner approaches John and his wife, Denise, with the news that Michael’s only chance to live is if he receives a heart transplant.

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Unfortunately, the Archibald’s insurance would not cover the procedure; nor would their incomes. A short while later the family is hit with more devastating news that Michael would be released from the hospital without care due to unpaid medical bills. John does all he can do to save his son as he holds everyone in the hospital hostage until his son is placed on the list. He is in a race against time as Michael’s conditions to worsen. The ethical issues presented in this movie spider webbed from the topic of health care.

The topics discussed relating to the textbook include: the morality of human acts, human rights, certain and true conscience, the right to petition, and man’s rights and duties towards himself. While John’s attempt to take others’ lives was unethical, he did so to save the life of someone he deeply loved. As a factory worker, John’s benefits did not include insurance that was sufficient enough to pay for the surgery. However, when the hospital was made aware of this, they should have made the ethical decision to prioritize a child’s life above money.

When the hospital found out the Archibald’s would not be able to afford the procedure, they refused them care. When Michael was refused care, the family began to panic as they already struggled financially. At this point John had the right to express the pain he was experiencing due to his helpless, dying son. He, in turn, petitioned against the hospital administration for being unwilling to aid in Michael’s failing heart. The hospital showed acts of injustice when they discharged Michael from the hospital. In the beginning, John and Denise did all of the right things.

They sold their car, house hold items and nearly ended up homeless. It still wasn’t enough. The community did all they could to help but the doctors would not budge. As John continued to fail in his quest, the frustration became more than he could handle. But did his actions display a malicious, unethical form of behavior? Being a highly thought of, generous, church-going family, John Q Archibald acted out of love. His ethics came through in the form of aspiration as he went to desperate lengths to save someone he loved so dearly. John acted ethically as he got to know many of his hostage victims, as well.

An expecting couple feared for their lives as well as that of their unborn child; in return, John released them unharmed. A young woman who is in a physically abusive relationship was another innocent patient in the hospital when John attacked. After learning of her situation, John and the hostages team up to save her and deliver the payback her boyfriend deserves. John becomes more desperate with every failed attempt to save his son when he decides all he can do is offer his own life. He does so by offering to donate his own heart so Michael can live on.

Moments before pulling the trigger of the pistol placed inside his mouth he decides there must be another way. In the end Michael receives the heart transplant to save his life. He resumes his active lifestyle while all of the hostages are safely released. John ends up in jail but is assured by his son, “It’s not goodbye, it’s see you later. ” When looking at every one of John’s actions individually, they appear to be the definition of unethical. But when you look at them each as a part of the big picture, he did it all for the greater good; the life of his son.

If any parent was put in that situation I’m sure they would react the same. A parent is supposed to protect a child no matter what and do anything and everything possible to protect them. That is instinct and certainly applies to ethical motives in society. Although I had seen this movie several times when I was much younger, I had a much different perspective watching it for this project and with all of the health care changes since that movie was released. I see both pros and cons to the most recent health care plan and when applied to the situation in this movie, it proves exactly what it was implemented to prevent.

Watching this movie, it was emotionally taxing to watch a child suffer due to financial insufficiencies. The parents gave up all they had to save their son and that should be more than enough for any medical institution. I also support what John did to save his son. In fact, I believe it would be unethical for a parent to stand by while their child endures an undeserved death. A parent should be wired by instinct to act in survival mode and that is precisely what John Q did. This was a great movie and explained more to me about health care ethics than a text book could ever teacher.

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