Maki Brothers

This paper analysis the Maki brother case with reference to ethical principles and theories, the option chosen is option 5 where the federal government or other public sources should pay for medical expenses the company pays for the for retirement benefits made, Eino should be treated given that this is the best option rather then letting him decide whether to spend the amount on treatment or something else. The principles discussed include the beneficence ethical principle, the autonomy principle and the justice principle.



This is an ethical principle that states that what is good should be done; the decision made should yield the greatest good. In the Maki’s brothers case the decision that yields the greatest good is compensating Eino by paying for medical expenses and paying him retirement benefits. (Penslar. 1995)


This principle states that an individuals should be allowed to make decisions on his or her own, according to this principle compensation should be offered in cash to Eino, however this principle may not apply given that undergoing treatment is the ethically correct option, therefore the federal govenermnt should not pay Eino in cash but pay his medical expenses in full. (Penslar. 1995)

Maki Brothers

Justice principle:

This is another ethical principle that states that decisions made should be fair, the chosen principle is fair to the parties involved, they include the company, Eino, his brother and the federal govenermnt. The federal govenermnt has failed to implement policies that protect Asbestos miners and therefore should pay for the medical expenses; the company on the other hand has also failed to study the health effect of mining on the workers and therefore should pay for the retirement benefits, finally Eino compensation is fair given that all the medical costs will be covered and will have the opportunity to receive retirement benefits. (Penslar. 1995)

Ethical theories:


Deontology is an ethical theory that states that people should undertake their duties and obligations, in the Maki brother’s case the obligation of the federal government is to provide information about cancer caused by asbestos mining, the federal government also has an obligation in providing health services to the population and therefore it should compensate Eino. The company also has a duty of ensuring that the workers receive their retirement benefits.(Ridley, 1998)

Rights theory:

The rights theory is another ethical theory that states that the rights of the individuals in the society should be given the highest priority, Eino has a right to be compensated for the health damages caused by the mining activity, from the case study the doctor is aware that the cancer

Maki Brothers

has been caused by the mining activity and therefore Eino rights should be prioritized and therefore he should be compensated. (Ridley, 1998)

Utilitarianism theory:

This is another ethical theory that states that the ethically correct option is that decision that yields benefits to most people, in this case therefore this is the best option given that Eino and others who have similar conditions will be compensated benefiting even those who have in the past faced similar conditions and also compensations will be made in future. (Ridley, 1998)


Types of justice include compensatory justice, distributive justice and correction justice, the applicable form of justice is compensatory justice in this case, this means that compensating Eino would yield justice given that Eino and other workers have faced injustice because they are unaware of the health hazard involved in the mining activity, compensatory justice will therefore be appropriate for Eino and other workers in the industry. (Andre, 1990)

Distribution justice also apply to this case, this justice is based on the principle that benefits and costs are well distributed in the society, the option chosen indicates that the company will pay for the retirement benefits, the federal government or other public sources will pay for medical expenses, this indicates that benefits are costs are well distributed in this option. (Andre, 1990)

Maki Brothers

From the above analysis it is evident that the society institutions are aware of the health hazard in the mining industry, however no safety precautions have been undertaken to reduce the occurrence of cancer, as a result the company and the federal government should compensate the workers with these conditions in order to achieve justice. Eino’s medical expenses should be paid by the federal government while his full retirement benefits paid by the mining company.

Maki Brothers


Claire Andre (1990) Justice and Fairness, Issues in Ethics Journal Vol 3 (2)

Compensatory justice, Social sources for claims for health care, chapter 15

Penslar, L (1995). Research Ethics: Cases and Materials, NY: McGraw Hill press

Ridley, A. (1998). Beginning Bioethics. NY: St. Martin Press.