Development of a tissue engineered heart valve for pediatrics: a case study in bioengineering ethics.

Merryman WD
Sci Eng Ethics. 2008 14 (1): 93-101

PMID: 18266080 · DOI:10.1007/s11948-008-9053-x

The following hypothetical case study was developed for bioengineering students and is concerned with choosing between two devices used for development of a pediatric tissue engineered heart valve (TEHV). This case is intended to elicit assessment of the devices, possible future outcomes, and ramifications of the decision making. It is framed in light of two predominant ethical theories: utilitarianism and rights of persons. After the case was presented to bioengineering graduate students, they voted on which device should be released. The results revealed that these bioengineering students preferred the more reliable (and substantially more expensive) design, though this choice precludes the majority of the world from having access to this technology. This case is intended to examine and explore where the balance lies between design, cost, and adequate distribution of biomedical devices.

MeSH Terms (7)

Biotechnology Child, Preschool Decision Making Equipment Failure Heart Valve Prosthesis Humans Pediatrics

Connections (1)

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