June 2007 LSAT, II, #17

Question 17 in Section 2 of the June 2007 LSAT presents a hospital executive's recommendation that "we should make the protection of our clients' confidentiality our highest priority."  Ummm... really?  Client confidentiality--that's gonna be your highest priority?  So if the shit hits the fan, and you can only do one thing, you're going to protect client confidentiality before you do anything else?  Really? Before you go to the answer choices--or even look at the question, for that matter--you need to be busting this guy's balls.  Ask yourself:  What evidence did the executive use to arrive at this peculiar conclusion?  Is there anything wrong with this evidence?  Can you think of any priorities that might take precedence over client confidentiality if you were running the hospital?

Trust me on this one:  If you can't learn to find something wrong with these arguments, then you might as well not even bother doing the LSAT.  You must think critically.  LSAT questions can be very difficult if you don't do this, and shockingly easy if you do.  So take a minute and think about it.  Does the argument add up?  What questions would you like to ask this guy?

I'd like to ask this guy if maybe saving lives might be more important than client confidentiality.  I'd like to ask if staying financially solvent--so that the hospital can keep running--might be more important than client confidentiality.  I'd like to ask if the executive thought about interviewing anybody other than "computer experts" what important priorities his hospital might have.  Did he ask the doctors?  Did he ask the nurses?  Did he ever think that, if he only asked a bunch of computer nerds, he was obviously only going to get an answer that had something to do with the all-importance of computer stuff?  Did this guy do any thinking at all?

We're asked "The hospital executive's argument is most vulnerable to which one of the following objections?" and I'm pretty sure that my questions have already pointed out the vulnerabilities.  I have two predicted answers.  I think "the argument presumes that one possible threat should be the most important priority for an organization, ignoring the possibility that there might be more important priorites" would be a decent answer.  I also think "the executive only interviewed computer nerds instead of also interviewing doctors and nurses and other people who might have valuable input" points out a pretty big problem.  Let's see.

A)  This would be the answer if the argument had said "cigarette smoking caused John's cancer, therefore cigarette smoking will cure John's cancer."  That would have been stupid, and the hospital executive's argument was stupid, but it was a different kind of stupid.

B)  Yep.  The executive has relied only on computer nerds, when it would have been much more appropriate to talk to a hospital management expert or at least a doctor, for chrissakes.  This is probably our answer.

C)  This would be the answer if the argument had said "home run hitters tend to strike out a lot, therefore striking out a lot causes you to hit home runs."  This is a very commonly tested flaw on the LSAT, but it wasn't the flaw that was tested here.

D)  This would be the answer if the argument had said "I asked my four-year-old niece who the best all-around musician in history is, and she said "Justin Bieber."  Therefore Justin Bieber is the best musician in history.  Again, this is a common flaw on the LSAT, but it's not the flaw tested on this question.

E)  This would be the answer if the argument had said "Big companies like Kaplan and Princeton Review suck at teaching the LSAT, therefore Fox Test Prep sucks at teaching the LSAT."  That's certainly flawed, but it's not the flaw we're looking for.  Our answer is B.