Ethics in Healthcare Scenarios
The government does not have the right to store personal health information of people in a centralized place. This is because it will be an intrusion into their privacy. Having this information stored by the government means that it is public information and can be available to persons with malicious intentions (Rasoal et al., 2017). Some medical conditions that people have would not make them comfortable if they are available to the government or other public agencies. This information can be used to extort the patients or discriminate against them in terms of employment.
Apple is not ethically bound to arrange for the treatment of such a person. The reason for that is the app on the iPhone is intended to just gather information on the health status of the persons as opposed to arranging for their treatment. The users of the app, out of altruism, might arrange for the treatment of the person in a far-off country with dangerously high blood pressure. Apple can facilitate this arrangement by making use of its communication resources. However, they are also not ethically bound to provide the treatment themselves.
The only entity that is ethically bound to provide the medical services to this iPhone user is the government of the country where he lives in. The medical services in such countries are often not staffed or supplied enough to deal with the health condition of this individual. Leaving the person to suffer and possibly die is not morally right, but it still is not the responsibility of either the company or the users of the application (Bruce et al., 2014). Given that Apple products are often designed for the high-end market, it is doubtful that a user of the app cannot access medical treatment.
Rasoal, D., Skovdahl, K., Gifford, M., & Kihlgren, A. (2017). Clinical Ethics Support For Healthcare Personnel: An Integrative Literature Review. HEC Forum, 29(4), 313-346.
Bruce, C. R., Smith, M. L., Tawose, O. M., & Sharp, R. R. (2014). Practical Guidance For Charting Ethics Consultations. HEC Forum, 26(1), 79-93.