I enjoy thinking about and discussing hypothetical moral dilemmas (here are ten classic ones). Today, I just learned of a money-based dilemma, created by psychologist Lawrence Kohlberg in 1963. It’s called the “Heinz Dilemma,” and he designed it to study the moral development of children.
Here’s the dilemma: A woman has cancer and will die unless she takes a special kind of medicine. This medicine is a type of radium that a pharmacist discovered. The drug cost $200 to make, and the pharmacist sold it for $2,000.
The dying woman’s husband, Heinz, could not afford to buy the medicine. He borrowed from everyone he knew, but was only able to scrape together $1,000. Heinz went to the pharmacist and asked him to sell the drug to him for $1,000. The pharmacist said no. He asked the pharmacist if he could buy the drug for $1,000 with the promise to pay the other $1,000 later. The pharmacist said no.
Heinz broke into the drugstore and stole the drug for his wife.
Should Heinz have done that?
Before reading this article about the Heinz Dilemma, answer the question and explain your reasoning.