Pam, a seventeen-year-old high school student, was spending Friday night at her friend Kristie’s house. Both decided to go to a party at a fellow student’s home. The parents of the host were away for the weekend. Marijuana and Ecstasy were said to have been used at the party. It was reported that Pam told a group of friends, including Kristie, that she had taken some Ecstasy, although no one actually saw her take the drug. Kristie went home without Pam. As the evening wore on, Pam complained of feeling sick. She was given lots of water to drink. (Dehydration is a common side effect of Ecstasy.) Soon Pam vomited and was moved to a bedroom to rest. The next morning, Kristie awoke to find that Pam had not returned to sleep at Kristie’s house. Kristie ran back to the house where the party had taken place. She arrived just in time to see Pam taken away by ambulance. She was taken to the nearby hospital and pronounced dead on arrival. Who will be held responsible for allowing Pam to die? Kristie? The students at the party? The student whose house was the site of the party? Could Kristie’s parents be held responsible? The host’s parents? Is there any criminal responsibility? Civil liability? Would your answer be different if Kristie gave Pam the drug? As a matter of morality, who would be held responsible under utilitarian theory? Kantian ethics?


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