Philo 171
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PostSubject: TORRECAMPO Questions for the Third Exam   TORRECAMPO Questions for the Third Exam Icon_minitimeSun Mar 29, 2009 11:52 pm

1. Donald Dax Cowart, Giovanni Nuvoli, and Ramon Sampedro are people who were in different medical conditions and who begged that they be allowed to die. Nowadays the refusal to allow them to die, or the decision to continue treating them despite their firm request not to be treated anymore, is considered a violation of their autonomy. Is the principle of “autonomy” indeed a valid and sufficient reason for withdrawing or discontinuing treatment? Why or why not?

2. After careful considerations of the various ethical theories/views we discussed, what “personal moral system or code” can you come up with and which you can adopt? Be sure to talk about the values, precepts/ideas, and other elements that should comprise this “personal moral system or code”. Include your conception of freedom and accountability in this given moral system and your view of what it means to be a moral individual.
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PostSubject: EXAM NUMER 3   TORRECAMPO Questions for the Third Exam Icon_minitimeMon Mar 30, 2009 9:49 pm

The cardinal values involve in bioethics are autonomy and respect for persons. And many have their dilemma when the two of these values are considered. The principle of autonomy states that we should be treated as autonomous agents and those people with diminished autonomy are entitled for protection.
To the cases of Donald Dax Covart, Giovanni Nuvoli, and Ramon Sampedro who decided that they should be allowed to die whenever that they are in a situation of comatose or vegetable state. If we follow the principle of autonomy the relatives of these 3 men should allow the hospital to remove the feeding tube of victims and allow them to die because of hunger. And as to the question, whether the principle of autonomy is a valid reason for discontinuing the process my answer would be “No”. My bases would be primarily of the side of the relatives of the victims and somehow will consider the victims.
These are my reasons 1. I would be using the “principle of autonomy” of the relatives to debunk in a way the side of the victims. Included in the principle that we should be the one protecting the persons with diminished autonomy. Does allowing that person die (because of autonomy) is like saying that we are protecting them? No. That should not be the thinking since we are in the first place protecting them from death without trying any possibilities if these persons would go well. In the same way, the relatives also have autonomy to decide. Relatives of the victims should be treated as autonomous agents. And if they decided to continue the treatment they we should respect it. Autonomy here also proved that we can perform a free and enlightened choice. We are in that situation wherein we have the more capacity to weigh the benefits over risks, so why not we exercise it?
2. Allow me to use the “Formula of Humanity and Autonomy” by Kant to support my grounds. In the Formula of Humanity, it says here that people are rational beings that we have an innate moral worth regardless of the circumstances that we are facing. In the same way, the relatives have the capacity to set goals for himself and have the capacity to realize that they can start a whole new series of life even they have someone in the hospital under the comatose situation. We realize here that we are not in the mercy of any circumstances that we do not have any other choice but not to do it. Like I said, the relative is in the situation wherein they know what is best for those victims. And even though, the victims have already decided to discontinue the treatment, then how would they know that there is a chance if that they would survived the state of coma? Since they have the least capacity to know it, then the relatives could decide on it. Kant is telling us that aw are agent of change, and whether it is hard for us to accept the fact that one of our loved ones is in that situation still we could go on. Using the Formula of Autonomy, it says here there “autonomy is the capacity to be a law in itself but it is subjected to a moral law.” Yes, the victims are autonomous and free, but it does not mean that they are free to do everything that they wanted; still they are subjected to law. And on this case, the victims are in the situation wherein they are subjected to whatever choice of their relatives. Again, I am not saying that comatose persons are not rational, but in this situation their relatives know what would be the best for them since they are one who would know the results of their situation.
I say that we should also consider some moral views before deciding the case of victims of the coma, because if we rely on the autonomy of the victims to let them die, then we are also disregarding our capacity of their relatives to decide.

Everyone knows that I already have a moral code which I am already adopting and it is the “Divine Command Theory”. Before I would begin discussing it, I would like to say that some of the characteristic of the theories that the presented by the philosophers and if we are going to combine some of them the result would be the “Divine Command Theory” or what the bible says about God.
Although there are many criticisms about this like: the existence of God? That morality would mean following God? That being a Christian is a slave to God? And that following God would diminish our autonomy and right to life? Yet I would say that after analyzing all the moral theories, there are similarities of what they say to the writings of the bible, even though these philosophers are atheist and the like. I know that this is hard to believe for some of you, but what if God even though these people are disregarding the fact that He does not exist still intervene to the writings for these philosophers to bring about good moral views and laws that people could adopt of follow. What if God because of His love for us, and even though we are sinners, still intervene in some things to help us out.
Example would be the “Formula of Autonomy” by Kant that says that we are both follower and a sovereign. In the Divine Command theory, it says that God is a Supreme Being that we need to follow Him. Kant said that we are a follower, yet did not indicate if we would follow God, instead we are follower of moral laws but not the commands of God. Yet in both theories there is the follower-mentality. As a Christian, I know that I am a servant of God and of the people around me. Even though that I am not telling them this thing, I know that I am accountable to them. Second would be, the Traditional Ethics by Macintyre that we have a common purpose or goal but did not indicate this goal. Again, in the Divine Theory and writings of the Bible, it says that we have a common purpose of loving God and people.
Discussing of this theory would take me a lifetime. I know that following God brings delight in my life. As long as I do not harm anybody, I adopt this one. And we should not generalize that those who follow God are people that the “hypocrites” since they are doing things that are harming other people. My claim to that is: it is not the religion that I am after to, but the relationship with Him. Religion cannot save you; it’s the relationship with God. And you will know that if a person is a follower of God if he/she is not disobeying Him through actions and deeds and also about comes out from the mouth.
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