Sunday, September 16, 2007

Ethical Dilemma

This morning I played in an tennis tournament with my son. Aside from having fun, the purpose of the tournament is to honor two Racine area tennis players who have died of cancer. Participants are asked to pay $40 each to the American Cancer Society.

Until recently the American Cancer Society was a non-partisan organization seeking to bring about a cure for cancer and to educate the public about cancer causing substances. Lately however, the ACS has introduced a new initiative wherin, judging by their own web site, they are beginning to push for socialized medicine.

Of course I don't think that would be a good idea. The costs will go up and the quality of care will go down.

So I can't, in good conscience, give money to an organization who's efforts will hurt our economy while negatively impacting our collective health. However, I already implicitly agreed to pay this money when I played tennis this morning. What to do?


Anonymous said...

what's more important, dad's satsfyiing unrealistic macro view of the world, or a chance to play competitive tennis with your only child? Use your common sense Denis.

Preachrboy said...

I would just pay and play, then in the future take my newfound knowledge of the organization into consideration.

Hopefully your $40 will go toward research and not toward a bad political idea.

Anyway, supporting a push for socialized medicine isn't as morally objectionable as some things other charities do...

Anonymous 2 said...

Denis -

As a fundraiser, a good charity is obligated to act in the wishes of the donor.

In other words, if you just write them a check - you are giving them a non-restricted gift and they can do as they please.

If you specify where you would like your gift to go, they will abide by the "restrictions" on your gift.

Tell them you want it to go to research or public education or whatever is your preference.

BTW, would you like to contribute a "restricted gift" to my charity?

Denis Navratil said...

Just a quick follow up. The tournament director has no problem with me giving a donation to another cancer related charity. Does anyone know of an apolitical local cancer organization?

And anon, I strive to be realistic in my view of the world. Do you care to add some specifics to your charge?

Preachrboy said...


I poked around on the ACS site, and from their FAQs it sounds like they are at least trying to remain "non-partisan" and not endorse any candidate or plan. Might be worth a read...

Anonymous said...

Thanks Preachrboy. I poked around the site a bit as well. It was not a thorough investigation I will admit. But I saw enough of a shift in emphasis from "cigarettes are bad for you" to "we need greater access to health insurance" to read the writing on the wall. Or perhaps I am overreacting. Denis Navratil.

Caledonia Unplugged said...

Denis - don't know if you've sent in the check yet, but might want to check this out.

(copy and past this url into the address bar)

Also any of the cancer treatment centers - cash goes directly for treatment.