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Philosophy 22B

McFall v. Shimp (Pennsylvania, 1978)

McFall suffers from aplastic anemia, a disease in which the patient's bone marrow fails to manufacture certain necessary blood components. Shortly after his condition was diagnosed in June of 1978, a search began to find a bone marrow donor.

Transfusions of bone marrow require a high degree of compatibility between donor and recipient and McFall's relatives were tested first.

Initial tests of McFall's immediate family failed to produce a compatible donor, but preliminary tests of McFall's first cousin, David Shimp, indicated a high compatibility rating.

Shimp was scheduled for further testing during the third week of July but he failed to show up, stating later that his wife had urged him not to go through the procedure.

Running out of time and with no one else to turn to, McFall hired an attorney and filed suit, asking the court (Judge Flaherty presiding) for an injunction ordering Shimp to submit to the transfusion procedure.

If you were the Judge, how would you rule?

Click HERE to read the decision in THE ACTUAL CASE..

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Page last edited: February 1, 2000