8 votes

Social Triage: High School Assignment Asks Students to Decide Who Should Live and Who Should Die Because of Limited Healthcare

A group of high school freshman in Illinois were reportedly required to determine who would live and who would die in a chilling class assignment that school officials say was nothing more than a lesson in social bias. However, critics argue it sounded more like a lesson in death panels.

The assignment, reportedly administered by the sociology unit at St. Joseph-Ogden High School, involved a fictional group of 10 individuals who are all in desperate need of kidney dialysis. If they don’t get the treatment, “they will die,” the lesson reads.

“But there’s a problem,” Fox News’ Todd Starnes reports. “The local hospital only has enough machines to support six patients.”

The next part of the assignment is down-right haunting.

“That means four people are not going to live. You must decide from the information below which six will survive,” it states.

Continue Reading


Trending on the Web

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

What does ethnicity have to do with this sort of question?

What does ethnicity have to do with this sort of question? Are they putting more value on certain ethnic groups and promoting racism?

Silly assignment 'cause it's

Silly assignment 'cause it's easy to see that the sickest 4 would die first because they would not get treatment regardless of the choices made since as soon as the lawyer found out the situation he'd file an injunction stopping the entire process and if anybody tried to get around it the cop would arrest or shoot 'em.

Once the first 4 were dead nobody would object to the remaining 6 getting treatment - as long as that decision didn't require govt. approval, in which case the decision would be delayed and the lives of the remaining 6 would be threatened too, except, of course, that of the prostitute who would in the end be the one most likely to get treatment and live since she'd be able to blackmail the politicians.

I mean, jeez, keep it real people.

I must be willing to give up what I am in order to become what I will be. Albert Einstein

There are actually questions like this

When you are in college studying medicine. My daughters keep emailing and asking me how I would answer the questions like this. All I could tell them was "sucks to be you" and have to play God. I just could not bring myself to the point of actually deciding something like this.

If I disappear from a discussion please forgive me. My 24-7 business requires me to split mid-sentence to serve them. I am not ducking out, I will be back later to catch up.

Well if we got the government out to begin with - the problem

will take care of itself.

As an astute business man - I would think buying the four additional machines was a no brainer - expanding a business is the whole goal of a business.

Of course, with all the regulations and rules, the machine probably costs a small fortune, I would need "specialists" to run it, a team of lawyers to defend me(in the form of malpractice insurance), I would have to take everyone - even those who fail to take any proactive approach to getting better and on and on.

So the short answer is - 4 are dying since they voted to die - they just didn't realize it.

In my world - I could ABSOLUTELY refuse service to anyone with an Obama sticker on their car.

Oh, puleeeaaassseee

8 people share machines in rotation... you don't stay on a dialysis machine 24/7... if the filtering time were not optimum, treatments would be more frequent.


Without some proof, I wouldn't put much credence in this post. Something like this would go viral on the net.

“Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves.”― Henry David Thoreau

I tried my best to verify before posting...

The following is the response from the principal, Brian Brooks:

“The assignment you are referring to is not a “Death Panel” assignment. The assignment is one in the sociology unit of our Introduction To Social Studies class. The purpose of the assignment is to educate students about social values and how people in our society unfortunately create biases based off of professions, race, gender, etc. The teacher’s goal is to educate students in the fact that these social value biases exist, and that hopefully students will see things from a different perspective after the activity is completed. The teacher’s purpose in the element of the assignment you are referring to is to get students emotionally involved to participate in the classroom discussion, and to open their minds to the fact that they themselves have their own social biases. The assignment has nothing to do with a “Death Panel.”

We encourage parents to contact their son/daughter’s teachers if they have any concerns about an assignment in the classroom. That line of communication typically clears up any potential misunderstanding.”


I'm a serial entrepreneur and liberty activist from Texas!


Wash those brains...

to ensure that the ObamaCare nightmare becomes a workable solution for providing "care" in the future. If they start teaching this now these kids will be more apt to accept it later down the road as a plausible solution.

If you have a restaurant with

If you have a restaurant with 40 chairs and 60 people walk in, who gets to eat?

If you have a car lot with 40 cars and 60 people want to buy a car from you, who gets to buy a car?

If you have 10 people who need dialysis and only 6 machines, who gets treatment?

Seems pretty obvious to me. The first one in line. Or the one the provider chooses...

"Ehhh, What's ups Doc?" B.Bunny "Scwewy Wabbit!"E. Fudd
People's Awareness Coalition: Deprogramming Sequence

why does the lawyer get to live?

Seriously any adult would have the lawyer dead.Lawyers are just so corrupt.

ConstitutionHugger's picture

stop judging entire groups of people

that's not a very libertarian or moral viewpoint.

I wonder what the "educators" would have done

if a person stated, "it is unacceptable for anyone to die in the United States for lack of machines. Four people should be sent to other hospitals where the machines are available."

This is crazy.

I would be livid if my 14 or 15 year old brought an assignment like this home. I would not like the school placing this kind of "file" into my child's brain, being responsible for choosing life or death for people he doesn't know, even if it's hypothetical. Choosing who in society is most "valuable"? Based on arbitrary parameters selected by - whom? It is possible that these kids did not even know that racism and social stratification existed until they did this assignment and were forced to choose who is "better", or that they had any "right" to "sort" people based on the value placed on them by the kid. This is one of those things you want to protect your kids from as a parent. What if there were an actual "right" and "wrong" answer on this assignment? That would be even worse, because then they're teaching the kids that there is an "authority" somewhere who has the right to do this kind of thing, in this manner, which has to be illegal. They should have topped it off with dollar bids on the treatment. Isn't that how the real world works, since they're so concerned about exposing the kids to the "real world"?

Fact is, if they only have

Fact is, if they only have enough machines for 6 then there ARE going to be 4 that die. I'd think the first 6 to sign up for treatment get treated, the last 4 don't.

2 kinds in this world, The Quick and The Dead....

"Ehhh, What's ups Doc?" B.Bunny "Scwewy Wabbit!"E. Fudd
People's Awareness Coalition: Deprogramming Sequence

Never thought about Steve Taylor's *Lifeboat* being prophecy...

but it was!:


Just different means of execution. (pun intended!)

"Hence, naturally enough, my symbol for Hell is something like the bureaucracy of a police state or the office of a thoroughly nasty business concern." ~~C.S. Lewis
Love won! Deliverance from Tyranny is on the way! Col. 2:13-15

meekandmild's picture

No elected official on the list?


The cop, doctor, lawyer would

The cop, doctor, lawyer would be my 8, 9, 10.

I'd let the convict live 1st.

On a second note, what the hell class was this for?

Southern Agrarian

They did put the cop as 7.

They did put the cop as 7.

To climb the mountain, you must believe you can.


Deleted my comment.

I'm a serial entrepreneur and liberty activist from Texas!