Kant’s Formula of Universal Law is determined a priori and it an idea that for something to be moral it must pass a universal test. In Kant’s Groundwork for the Metaphysic of Morals he states to act as if the maxim of your action would become a universal law of nature. This means that an act can be considered the right thing to do if it can be applied to everyone else and it would be right for everyone else to act that way.
When looking at Dr. Tom’s actions as when considering Kant’s Formula of Universal Law, Tom’s actions do not pass the test. In the case Mary does not want her organs to be donated because she believes that she has a chance of survival. Tom knows that Mary is soon going to die so he takes Mary’s organs against her wishes and in turn saves the lives of three other patients. When testing this case with Kant’s Formula of Universal Law the maxim would be that Mary wants to live so she wants to keep her own organs. Tom knows that she will die soon and her organs can save three other people so he takes them. Putting this maxim to the test would be saying that if anyone was going to die soon, anybody could take any organs that they if those organs were to save a life even if it I against that donor’s wishes. The results from this test would conclude that Tom’s actions would not be coherent with Kant’s Formula of Universal Law.
If every doctor took organs from patients who were soon going to die in order to save others’ lives even though it was against that donor’s will, people would eventually stop going to the doctor. Also if Tom’s actions were to be universalized the idea of a person agreeing or disagreeing with being a donor would be trumped by another’s will to take whichever organs they please in order to save a life. This would be breaking the respects towards other people’s own personal rights and wishes to live.
Mill’s Greatest Happiness Principle works a bit better with regards to Tom’s actions. The main idea of Mill’s Greatest Happiness Principle is to maximize happiness. The Greatest Happiness Principle categorizes actions as a right actions if the actions promote happiness and not pain. It is the duty for everyone to seek happiness for others and to seek happiness for themselves. Mill also adds the ideal of quantity to this principle. The more happiness an individual’s act can spread through society the better. So ultimately the greater number of people who are happy as a result from a particular...