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Critical Thinking Scenario: Blood Money Essay

The purpose of this essay is to provide an explanation for the relationship between critical thinking and ethics based on an ethical scenario called, Blood Money as analyzed from a critical thinking perspective. First, the moral responsibility of the participants in the scenario and the stakeholders’ moral failings will be defined. Next, the conflict of obligations or ideals will be analyzed while the best possible outcomes for the given consequences will be provided. Last, a brief analysis will be presented which describes the relationship between ethics and critical thinking. Critical thinking is a form of deliberate decision making based on reflective judgement.

It is used for problem solving that involves evaluating and weighing two or more pieces of incoming information. Australian Moral Philosopher, Peter Singer, defined ethics this way: “Ethics is a major branch of philosophy, encompassing right conduct and good life. It is significantly broader than the common conception of analysing right and wrong. A central aspect of ethics is ‘the good life’, the life worth living or life that is simply satisfying, which is held by many philosophers to be more important than moral conduct”, (Singer, P. 2011). Simply, ethics refers to a set of theoretical morals that involves right conduct meant for the greater good. Critical analysis

The scene begins with a group of under cover reporters who discover a Chinese business of the purchase and sale of human organs from the bodies of Chinese prisoners who are ordered to be executed in China. The Chinese and United States governments both denied that such a business exists. The under cover reporters who worked for Primetime Live managed to tape the transactions during their investigation which began is New York City’s Central Park and continued all the way to a military based hospital located in Hong Kong, China. The reporters discovered that the Chinese military was one of the primary players in this get-rich scheme which generated revenue in the hundred millions. Apparently, $30,000 can buy one kidney and pay for the transplantation. In fact, a down payment of $5,000 is all that is required to get placed on the reservation list.

This black market of organs sales by the Chinese military was common knowledge which involved numerous doctors in this barbaric business. Before the prisoners were even executed, they were forced to accept anticoagulants prior to their execution in order to prevent their blood from clotting. Such acts alone are a violation of the prisoners’ human rights. Shockingly, an American company was discovered having an active involvement is this black market. It was confirmed that W.R. Grace Corporation played a crucial role in the success of the black market business by providing the Chinese Army with a fully equipped dialysis centre.

Moral responsibilities

There are three active participants and two passive participants in this scenario. The three active participants are the doctors, the Chinese military, and W.R. Grace who made the business possible. The two passive participants are the Chinese government and the United States government. The Chinese military was morally responsible for making sure that the prisoners’ consent was obtained for taking organs from their bodies after their execution. The doctors were morally responsible for protecting the prisoners’ organs and for exercising honourable conduct that falls in line with their Hippocratic Oath of ethics. W. R. Grace Corporation was morally responsible for ensuring that the hospital did not engage in unethical practices and more importantly, the company had a moral responsibility not to assist the hospital in doing so. The Chinese and Unites States governments shared the responsibility of protecting the prisoner’s rights which included the implementation of such rights while preventing unethical practices.

Stakeholders’ moral failings

The moral failings of the stakeholders are different as the Chinese military failed in getting away from an unethical trade, the doctors failed morally in performing their moral duties and the American company failed in its moral duty by supporting and equipping a hospital involved in unethical practices. The governments of China and the United States failed morally in ensuring implementation of human rights and ethical practices.

Ideals or obligations in the conflict

The ideal or obligations in the conflict include using the organs of the prisoners with their consent, instead of selling the organs it could be used for the needy, for example, poor Chinese population, and lastly educating people about the actions of the Chinese military and its objectives and benefits.

Best outcome of the given consequences

The best outcome of the given consequences is that the organs of people can be used for medical purposes provided they give their consent for it.


Ethics are a set of standards which people use for living a good life while critical thinking makes the ethics or causes to be fluid. Critical thinking is the concept emerged by applying cognition while ethics refers to the perception of right or wrong in a given situation. Ethical principles have global or universal overlaps, but the ethical problems and solutions are hardly universal. Here is when there is a need to draw the connection between ethics and critical thinking. Applying critical thinking in a defined situation enables people for making the right decisions about choosing right ethical principles for applying to a particular situation.


Foundation for Critical Thinking. (2013). Critical Thinking in Everyday Life: 9 Strategies. Retrieved from http://www.criticalthinking.org/pages/critical-thinking-in-everyday-life-9-strategies/512 Manias, N., Monroe, D., & Till, J. E. (2013). Ethics Applied (7th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson Education, Inc. Paul, R. & Elder, L. (2001). Modified from the book by Paul, R. & Elder, L. (2001). Critical Thinking: Tools for Taking Charge of Your Learning and Your Life. Singer, P. (2011). Why Act Morally?. Cambridge Books Online, 3rd(30), 276-296.

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