Morality Question During WROL

21 Apr

I’m commenting on two great posts:

The question: Will you do whatever’s necessary to protect your family and loved ones during a WROL?

There is a famous debate question about morality. Read the story and decide:

Heinz’s wife was dying from a particular type of cancer. Doctors said a new drug might save her. The drug had been discovered by a local chemist and the Heinz tried desperately to buy some, but the chemist was charging ten times the money it cost to make the drug and this was much more than the Heinz could afford.

Heinz could only raise half the money, even after help from family and friends. He explained to the chemist that his wife was dying and asked if he could have the drug cheaper or pay the rest of the money later. The chemist refused saying that he had discovered the drug and was going to make money from it. The husband was desperate to save his wife, so later that night he broke into the chemist’s and stole the drug.

( quoted from )

The question: Did Heinz do the right thing? Would you have stolen the drug to save your wife?

In a long-term WROL, would you take supplies from others if it were the only way left to save your own family?

6 Responses to “Morality Question During WROL”

  1. thoughtfullyprepping April 21, 2014 at 4:56 pm #

    A two part No Brainer as I have the morals of an alley cat.

    Part 1 To save my wife?
    I’d move the Earth IF I HAD NO OTHER OPTION.
    I’d take the drug and the formula putting it on YouTube as a freebe to the world.
    Hurt my family, I hurt you.

    Part 2 Supplies?
    To support my family exactly the same.
    They need, I can’t provide, AND WITH NO OTHER OPTION, I take.
    Do I care about those I have taken from? Nope.
    My priority is looking after my own.

    • preppernextdoor April 21, 2014 at 10:47 pm #

      “I’d take the drug and the formula putting it on YouTube as a freebe to the world.”

      Sweet. I like how you think. I’d want to beat up that dude too.

  2. equippedcat April 24, 2014 at 10:47 pm #

    I wouldn’t take the drug, but I would raise the money somehow or otherwise provide the chemist the desired value. Heinz must have been a really poor negotiator to not be able to come up with a plan the chemist would take. No sane person looking for money would turn down an adequate combination of cash (providing some profit) up front, secured loan (for more profit later) and an opportunity to advertise his product and demonstrate its effectiveness (to increase sales).

    By the way, 10 times the production cost is dirt cheap for a drug. Most of the non-generics are 1000s or 100s of 1000s of times the cost to actually make it. That is because the inventor of the drug has to recoup all of the development costs in the few years they are allowed to be the only producer of the drug. When that expires, the generic people come in and sell it for 10 times the production cost and the people who invented it are sorry out of luck.

    To be mad at a person desiring a ‘reasonable’ profit for his work and/or inspiration is kind of crass. What if your boss came to you and said, the government has determined that the value of a person’s hour is $10.10, so it turns out we have been overpaying you at $25 an hour. As a gift, you can keep what we’ve already overpaid you, but starting now, we are changing it down to the more reasonable $10.10. Would the boss be justified in being mad when you quit and storm out? Wouldn’t you tend to object to someone else paying you less than you thought you were worth (ok, what you could prove you were worth).

    And by the way again, the drug only ‘might’ cure the cancer. I did not see any guarantee that it would work, and no indication that the chemist had any valid data supporting his claim. Blackening my soul/risking jail or other punishment for a maybe would be even worse than doing if for a ‘guarantee’.

    I note that whenever a ‘scenario’ is presented to test someone, the scenario is slanted to encourage the response desired by the presenter. Except for mine, above, of course 🙂

    • preppernextdoor April 25, 2014 at 2:43 am #

      This is an extremely intelligent and well-thought out post. I can’t directly dispute anything you say. I wish everyone followed your system of belief. The world would be a better place. (If you were the doctor, I’d bet you’d be much more reasonable than the one in the scenario!)

      I will add this, thou, there are people today who can’t afford certain life-saving medical care. If you watch a loved one die under those conditions, no doubt it will change a person’s perspective. It will harden you to the system that exists.

      Most break-through research in medicine in America is funded by the NIH, which is taxpayer dollars. Then the successful drugs are privatized. What justification then for 1000x cost?

      In a longer-term WROL, I’d bet that those with supplies would be the ruthless gangs that will have taken the supplies by force and killed others to get them. Would you be willing to attack those gangs to get needed supplies? I’d argue those groups don’t legitimately own the supplies, even if they haven’t directly attacked you.

      • equippedcat April 25, 2014 at 3:30 am #

        I was not aware that the NIH gave a new drug, designed at taxpayer expense, to, say, Pfizer, who then just produces it and sells it. Or even run the trials, get the approval of the FDA, then just produces it and sell it. Silly me, I was under the impression that (for instance) Pfizer develops the drug, gets it through trials and FDA approval and all the excessive regulations laid on them by the government, and only then patents (not a trivial or cheap undertaking), manufactures and sell the few drugs that make it that far, discarding the failures. I have been misinformed that it costs the drug companies many millions for each drug which eventually makes it to market (plus the costs of the failures). My bad, apparently there is no justification for the ridiculous cost of non-generic drugs. Why not get rid of the drug companies and go directly from NIH to the generic makers?

        I will admit that I have been blessed in my life, in that I have always been able to afford medical insurance which has covered all my needs. Perhaps this was due to my putting necessities (such as medical insurance and costs) above luxuries (new cars, fancy vacations, paying list price). I wonder how many of the people who
        ‘cannot afford’ a medical procedure ‘could afford’ a BMW, cigarettes, yearly jaunts to Disneyland, strawberries not in season and throwing lavish parties. In other words, I’d want to look at the ‘whole picture’ for each case when a person ‘cannot afford’ a medical procedure. Is it the ‘system which exists’ which causes the problem, or is it people abusing the system which makes it unwieldy?

        Attack gangs? Now that is a difficult question. Attack someone minding their own business? That is easy, no. Attack someone attacking someone who is minding their own business? Quite possibly, depending on the risk/reward ratio factoring in the ‘good’ done by getting rid of such attackers. Attack a known gang who are not currently involved in, or obviously in process of setting up an attack? That is a real tough one. Each case would have to be judged on all the facts (how do I know they are a danger to me or other innocents, what do they have that I need, what are the odds of success, what other groups might be upset at their passing, etc); let us just say I don’t unilaterally rule it out.

  3. equippedcat April 24, 2014 at 10:50 pm #

    As for taking supplies from others, no, at least not from those who legitimately have them.

    If someone attacks me, then their stuff is available to me after I defend myself. If I catch someone attacking someone else, then after I defend those being attacked, any stuff without identified or available owners is available to me.

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