HERE IS THE QUESTION:
A terrorist attack wiped out the infrastructure in the state of Utopia, USA. As a result of this attack, the state was cut off from any medical supplies. Immediately after the attack, in an emergency legislative session, the legislature passed the emergency Save Our Youth (SOY) Act, which directed the hospital to use all appropriate resources for all patients under the age of 65 unless their conditions were grave. Further, they were directed to stop providing medication for all patients whose conditions were grave, regardless of age. The law was passed unanimously. The governor was out of town and unable to return, however, he signed a facsimile of the bill and faxed it back to the legislature. This procedure was neither prohibited nor explicitly sanctioned by the laws of Utopia regarding statutory promulgation. The penalty for breaking the law was a Class B Felony, punishable by a term of incarceration not to exceed ten years.
You are a Judge in Utopia District Court. A case has come before you in which a doctor from Utopia hospital was charged with knowingly and intentionally violating the SOY Act by providing medication to a 66-year-old man who was recovering from surgery. The doctor believed that without antibiotics, the man would likely contract an infection, which could lead to his death. With antibiotics, however, his prognosis was excellent. Other medical experts unanimously concurred with the doctor’s assessment and the likelihood of the man’s recovery with antibiotics. As expected, the patient made a full recovery. Tragically, five other patients under the age of 65, and not in grave condition, died because of infections that could not be treated because of the reduced availability of medication that was used in the treatment of the doctor’s 66-year-old patient.
A motion to dismiss the charges in the interests of justice was brought by the defendant’s attorney and you must decide whether the case should be dismissed or should go to trial. You must defend your decision by applying the philosophies of at least one natural law theorist, one positivist law theorist, and either an American Legal Realist theorist or a contemporary theorist such as those referenced in chapters 19 and 20 of the Bix book. You may use more than three at your discretion. You must use at least three original sources (textbooks are NOT typically original sources, unless using the textbook to demonstrate the author’s own theory). You must use one of the three types of theorists to support your opinion. The other two may or may not be consistent with your decision, but you must demonstrate a thorough understanding of the applicable aspects of each philosopher’s theory and apply that person’s theory to the hypothetical.