You are a skilled doctor, with five patients who all need different organ transplants. There are currently no organs available to give them, and if they don’t get their transplants soon they will all die.
You have a sixth patient, who is dying of an incurable disease. At the moment you are giving him medicine to ease his pain and prolong his life. He is a compatible organ donor for your five other patients, but the medicine he is taking will keep him alive just a day longer than they have left. If you were to stop giving him medicine he would die before them, in a very painful way, but you would then be able to use his organs to save the other five.
What should you do?
What if the sixth patient’s disease was curable, and the medicine you are giving him will allow him to make a complete recovery?