Attached at the bottom is my paper that I wrote. I’m just needing help to identify the strongest possible onjection to my thesis as well as the closing remarks.
The strongest possible objection to your thesisWith Good Reason: A Guide to Critical Thinking
A rebuttalWith Good Reason: A Guide to Critical ThinkingWith Good Reason: A Guide to Critical Thinking
Closing remarksWith Good Reason: A Guide to Critical Thinking
Merck and Company Inc. is faced with an ethical dilemma on whether the company should focus on its profitability or it should risk investing in the drug research. The drug was regarded as the only medication for River Blindness, a very fatal and deleterious ailment. This research placed the company decision makers on crossroads. They feared that their clients could not afford the drug and this would mean losses for the company. The company values as stated in the company website are “Our core values are driven by a desire to improve life, achieve scientific excellence, operate with highest standards of integrity, expand access to our products and employ a diverse workforce that values collaboration” (n.d). These values serve as the obligation of the company and their primary objective. Like any other business, the company would want to make profits but this is not their fundamental objective, enhancing life is. This presents a very difficult situation for the company. This is because it has to make a decision to either invest in the research of the drug which may not earn it any profits and save lives or to let it go and maximize profits.
Merck and company should choose to invest in the research of the drug meant to heal River Blindness. This is because even though the company risks losing huge amounts of money, the drug will help in healing so many people. The Deontology theory supports this viewpoint. This paradigm explores the morality of an action with regard to its rightness or wrongness instead of its impacts. It places stress on the link between the morality of an action and obligations. According to Gray (2009), some actions are morally obligated despite their impacts. In the case of a business, every company has obligations to the customers, business stakeholders, and workers since they are the reason for the existence of the business. They contribute to the business in one way or another and are therefore its responsibility.
The Merck and company’s shareholders include the customers, employees, business shareholders, competitors, among others. If the company, chooses not to invest in the research of the drug, the shareholders, employees and the company at large will benefit financially while the customers will lose lives. Increasing profits is not one of the key value of the company, the company values human life. This means that the company’s top priority is the customers and it is its obligation to enhance lives. The right thing to do is, therefore, investing in the research of the drug that will save millions of lives regardless of the losses the company may have to undergo. Considering the values of Merck company, it aims at improving people’s lives and that is its obligation. The deontology theory is about taking the right action and fulfilling the obligations. In this case, there are millions of lives that depend on the research of the drug. The right thing to do is to save the lives. Moreover, the company has an obligation to enhance lives, attain scientific excellence, as well as demonstrate integrity in all its operations as mentioned in the company values. Investing in the research of the drug would help the company in fulfilling its obligations. Scientific excellence can only be attained by carrying out innovative research projects successfully. As the company’s value, it has an obligation to venture into the research of the drug and come out successfully. It is the right thing do regardless of the fact that the research may fail. As long as the action that the company takes favors the well-being of human beings, it is the right thing since human life is more valued than any other benefit.
The responsibility page of the website of the company states that it operates at high standards since many people across the globe depend on their products. Moreover, their values involve operating with integrity. Ditching the research of the drug would mean that the company operates against its value system. The company also has a philosophical statement that was established in 1950 by George Merck who was the company president then advising that the medicine is for the consumers and not for their own gain but if the consumers are satisfied, the gains will definitely be there (Collins, 2004). This gives the company an obligation to take an action that is beneficial to the consumers without considering the profits. By so doing, the company will be operating on the basis of its values. The company clearly stated that they are more concerned about enhancing lives instead of profits. Failure to invest in the River Blindness research would mean that they focus more on the profits than the well-being of their consumers. Even though the company has an obligation to provide profits for the investors considering that they have invested in it, life is more important and the right thing to do is to save it.
Investing in the research of the drug is the best action to take because the company has a social responsibility to ensure the wellbeing of its consumers (Ni & Van, 2015). Even though Merck and Company is not the only pharmaceutical institution that is able to invest in the research, choosing to invest in the clinical research shows integrity. Moreover, considering that there are no legal obligations compelling the company to invest, choosing the right path without being forced to demonstrates the ability of the company to stand by its values. There so many lives that depend on the drug and the decision to invest in the drug research and create river blindness cure shows that the company is not self-centered. Investing in the research of the drug would also give the company and its shareholders a sense of fulfillment having done what is right for humanity.
Deontology theory offers a superior solution to the solution offered by Utilitarian theory. This is because the paradigm offers a solution that is morally right for everyone. As mentioned earlier, the Merck and River blindness ethical dilemma involves a number of stakeholders including the employees, investors, consumers, competitors among others. The products offered by the company benefit the consumers’ health wise. Investing in the research of the drug is, therefore, a question of saving lives and all the stakeholders believe that life is very important.
Moreover, the company is guided by values that are like obligations to the company. The solution brought about from this theory represents one voice which is enhancing human lives. Through a collective decision to invest in the research of the drug, the company and all the shareholders are able to benefit in a number of ways. For instance, the good image of the company will attract more investors and consumers for the company thus increasing its profitability.
The utilitarian theory offers a solution based on the action that will make more people happy. Choosing to invest in the drug would have both positive and negative consequences for the company and its stakeholders. The positive impact is that the research of the drug will provide a drug to save millions of lives from river blindness. However, the drug may end up failing and destroying the image of the company. Investing in the research of the drug would also mean losing a huge amount of money and even if the drug works, it will be expensive for the consumers and this means losses for the company. The company has an obligation to provide salaries to his employers and investors. These people that depend on the company have families and if the company is affected, then there are so many families that will be affected financially. Looking at the consequences of investing, if the company utilitarian theory, it will opt not to invest in the river blindness clinical research since it will make more people happy in the end.
According to Jones, Felps, and Bigley (2007), the utilitarian theory states that the morality of an action is dependent on its the consequences. As long as an action results to happiness for most people, then it is right. This theory values happiness and pleasure and regards it as the only virtue with intrinsic value. In this case, the Merck and Company could resolve to focus on the profits and let go of investing in the river blindness clinical research. This would mean that the company does not lose a huge amount of money and its operations still continue making the shareholders, employees, some consumers and the company at large happy.
The solution presented by the Deontology theory involves investing in the clinical research of the drug regardless of any loss that the company may incur. This means that the solution prioritizes the human lives more than the profits. Unlike the utilitarian theory, deontology theory holds human life with dignity, every life is crucial and should be protected. The consequences of an action are uncertain and, in most cases, no one has control over them. Through this decision, the company operations are in line with their collective values and this gives a good image to the company. A good image for the company is enough to attract sponsors for company programs, more investors and more consumers thus increasing services to humanity as well as profitability. The company has been able to provide a groundwork for keeping promises, commitments, and contracts since it made a decision with regard to the set values and philosophies. The Deontology theory is about doing what is right for everyone and in this case clinical research for a drug that will cure millions of people is the right thing to do.
“Our Core Values Are Driven by a Desire to Improve Life, Achieve Scientific Excellence, operate with the Highest Standards of Integrity, Expand Access to Our Products and Employ a Diverse Workforce That Values Collaboration.” Merck.com | About | Our Values, www.merck.com/about/our-values/.
Collins, K. L. (2004). Profitable gifts: a history of the Merck Mectizan donation program and its implications for international health. Perspectives in biology and medicine, 47(1), 100-109.
Gray, M. (2009). Moral sources and emergent ethical theories in social work. British Journal of Social Work, 40(6), 1794-1811.
Ni, A., & Van Wart, M. (2015). Corporate Social Responsibility: Doing Well and Doing Good. In Building Business-Government Relations (pp. 175-196). Routledge.
Jones, T. M., Felps, W., & Bigley, G. A. (2007). Ethical theory and stakeholder-related decisions: The role of stakeholder culture. Academy of Management Review, 32(1), 137-155.