1. Beyond market share and stock market prices, what considerations would have influenced Hawkins’s decision?
2. Some critics have said that Hawkins’s decision could not be considered difficult because lives were at risk. Do you agree that Hawkins’s decision was, in fact, easy? Explain.
Bill Hawkins, CEO at Medtronic ($14.6 billion, Minneapolis-based medical device maker), faced a critical ethical decision-making moment in 2007 when he learned that Medtronic’s Sprint Fidelis leads might have been malfunctioning at an unacceptably high rate. Leads are very thin wires that connect implanted heart defibrillators to the heart thus allowing a shock to be delivered from the defibrillator to the heart muscle. Sprint Fidelis leads (Sprint was the brand name for Medtronic’s leads and Fidelis was the particular model of lead) were the company’s newest, and thinnest, model. Medtronic began receiving reports of fractures in the Sprint Fidelis leads. Those fractures might prevent a needed shock from reaching the heart, or patients might receive random shocks.

  • CreatedOctober 02, 2015
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