A woman was near death from a special kind of cancer. There was one drug that the doctors thought might save her. It was a form of radium that a druggist in the same town had recently discovered. The drug was expensive to make, but the druggist was charging ten times what the drug cost him to produce. He paid $200 for the radium and charged $2,000 for a small dose of the drug. The sick woman’s husband, Heinz, went to everyone he knew to borrow the money, but he could only get together about $1,000 which is half of what it cost. He told the druggist that his wife was dying and asked him to sell it cheaper or let him pay later. But the druggist said: “No, I discovered the drug and I’m going to make money from it.” So Heinz got desperate and broke into the man’s laboratory to steal the drug for his wife. Should Heinz have broken into the laboratory to steal the drug for his wife? Why or why not? (Heinz Dilemma)

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That's an interesting question. I can't say that what he did was right, but if I were that desperate I might have done the same thing. It still wouldn't be right, but I'd be willing to account for what I did. On the other hand, the guy that made the drug should have let him pay half and continue with a payment plan with interest. He could still make money.

No that wasn't the right thing to do. That drug might not even have helped her, he would have went to jail, then who's gonna care for the wife. Robbery is never the answer.

This is a difficult question for me to answer as I've been in a slightly similar situation not that long ago.

My wife had breast cancer and initially the main drugs which were hugely expensive were covered by our Government's Pharmacuitical Benefits scheme. This basically targets expensive yet life saving drugs and subsidises them so that anyone can afford it. So initially we were covered and never had to consider the above scenario.

However after a year or so the drugs lost their effect on my wife and she had to go onto a new drug that wasn't subsided. No Government can afford to subsides every new drug. So we sold our home to pay the $5,400 per month for the new drug. This continued for about two years until all our money was gone.

Suddenly there was another drug she needed to take which cost even more but we had no money left. At the time I might have considered theft as I would have done anything but our relationship changed, and her parents then funded it for a very short term until she died.

I would have done anything for her before the divorce but breaking and entering isn't something I could consider. I believe I could have organised a fund raiser within the community that may have helped. Also even knowing which drug to take and how to administer it would have made the whole idea of theft redundant.

@OzSurfer This is a difficult question for me to answer as I've been in a slightly similar situation not that long ago. My...

I regret so very much that your wife and you, and her parents, had to suffer her loss of comfort and loss of life at such an early age. I, too, would be unable to provide the meds and also wouldn't turn toward theft. The way the pharmacist handled the example that the OP provided seemed a very shitty way to have handled it.

@PartyOfOne I regret so very much that your wife and you, and her parents, had to suffer her loss of comfort and loss of life...

I agree, I liked the example but I think it applies more to the large companies. Maybe I have too much faith in humans but I struggle to believe that a single pharmacist would essentially leave someone to their death just because of massive profits over a reasonable profit.

It'd be different if the pharmacist was only making a small percentage on a very expensive-to-produce product it and was struggling to survive financially and the person was asking for it for free.

@OzSurfer I agree, I liked the example but I think it applies more to the large companies. Maybe I have too much faith in...

Very likely true, more the case than not. Glad that was just an example, though scary just the same.

Be good to yourself, Dallas, in anyway you can ;D

In this scenario the husband is given only two choices: commit a crime or let his wife die. If it were me, I would take the following things into consideration:
1) The prognosis if my wife took the drug
2) The likelihood of me being caught if I committed the crime
3) The likelihood that I would be sent to prison if I committed the crime
In addition to my wife's life, I need to consider the well-being of myself and that of our children.

To me this dilemma illustrates why access to health care should not be determined solely by a free market.

Links? No offense, but to me this like a spurious story.

This user has been banned.

I agree that people are getting ripped off by drug companies.
I also understand why some drugs that may only cost $1 to manufacture, may sell for $10. How many millions in R&D did it cost to produce the drug? How many millions in R&D was spent on drugs that never worked?
I think there should be a limit on the price of drugs a company can charge and I think after a reasonable amount of time for a company to recoup their investment, the price should go down.

I would never break into a pharmacy to steal the drug. I would break into "your" home, and steal enough to pay for it. (Breaking into a pharmacy and stealing drugs sends you to jail. Stealing from someone else gets you probation) :)

@JustJimColo I agree that people are getting ripped off by drug companies. I also understand why some drugs that may only cost...

Reminds me of an old Smothers Brothers skit: A guy walks into a pharmacy to pick up his prescription. The Pharmacist puts the bottle on the counter and tells the guy, "That will be $49.95" The guy plops a half dollar on the counter, grabs the counter and walk out. The pharmacist yells after him "I said $49.95" the guy continues to walk out. The pharmacist looks at the half dollar and says, "well at least I still made 2 bits on the deal".

Desperate people will resort to desperate measures. Yes it is wrong to break in and steal, but when there are no other options, how far would you go to save someone you loved?

I'm with what Rooster had said up until he felt the charges would have been dropped - I don't believe they would have given the weight of the crimes.

If you can't pay for something, you don't just take what you want because it's to your benefit!

No, he shouldn't have broken in.

He should have asked Pelosi for some 'crumbs'.

When a loved one is suffering. Most folks would do anything to save them, I know I would. What the druggist was doing was so unethical. He should be looked at. Shame on him or her.

He should have gone on the'' Go Fund Me Page''

That's his wife man cut him some slack. Maybe if it worked at least he could go to jail knowing she was okay and healthy. Plus, this 'druggist' seems cold hearted, and sketchy.

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