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 MONTANO Questions for the Third Exam

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jimenez



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Join date : 2008-11-25

PostSubject: MONTANO Questions for the Third Exam   Sun Mar 29, 2009 11:29 pm

Montano
Montano
1. In those cases where Jack Kevorkian performed assisted euthanasia on patients confirmed to be terminally ill and who were fully autonomous in seeking euthanasia, was Jack Kevorkian's action morally excusable? 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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montañoallan



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PostSubject: answer for the first question   Mon Mar 30, 2009 8:42 pm

In those cases where Jack Kevorkian performed assisted euthanasia on patients confirmed to be terminally ill and who were fully autonomous in seeking euthanasia, was Jack Kevorkian's action morally excusable? Why or why not.

I wish to determine Kevorkian’s actions in two ways; first in conservative explanations and second, using a more radical one.

In a conservative point of view, Kevorkian or famously known as Dr. Death is not and will never be excused for his actions. We cannot just simply say that he is merely helping helpless and hopeless individuals. In a conservative lens, Jack Kevorkian’s actions were immoral, plainly because he was not in the position to take away anyone’s life. Although it was not him to offer his services, still he cannot decide for someone’s life – though the patients have decided by themselves, he should have not concurred with their decisions. Because bluntly speaking, neither Kevorkian nor the patient has the right to decide for ending someone’s life. Very conservatively speaking, God alone knows the right time and we have to trust Him for he knows...

However, if I am to explain this in a radical manner, I would say that his actions were not immoral. First, as we all know, it was not him who offered his services – the patients upon seeking his help have decided to die. In a sense, Kevorkian was merely extending his hand to help, it was out of goodwill. The world may see these actions as murders, but who cares to what the world say, when the patients themselves have decided to take away their own lives instead of living continuously in heavy and chronic emotional and physical pain.

Personally, I am inclined with the radical justifications – that Kevorkian’s actions were morally permissible. I will explain from the viewpoint of the patient. The basic foundation of my opinion is that - as we have and have fought for our right to live, I believe we also have the right to die. We know how hard it is to be in the position of someone with Alzheimer’s disease, or fatal cancer perhaps. I do not want seeing people suffering – who would like anyway? That is why if I have other options (assisted suicide for instance), I would have considered doing so. I would rather die through carbon monoxide poisoning than live for the rest of my life in agony. I would like to incorporate some points from the movie Antonia’s Line, in particular from Crooked Finger. From the movie I learned that we did not choose to have lived, but at least we have the option to die.

Note: I am not in favor for suicide or any mere act of taking away one’s life. My concept of the right to die is when “dying becomes a better option than living.”
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montañoallan



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PostSubject: answer for the second question   Mon Mar 30, 2009 9:48 pm

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.

Of course, even before I have taken this class, I believe I have my own sound personal moral code. Though that time, I do not know which moral theory I was subscribing to. In answering this question, I would like to integrate what I have learned from the class to what I believed before and maybe I can identify changes from my then beliefs.

On the concept of the relativity of morality
Before, I am attached to this principle – that morality is relative and is anchored to a certain culture and that culture alone will be the basis of morality. However, after having took the lessons, I agree with our discussions that morality should not be relative. It should be a standard or a set of beliefs that would evaluate other acts – it should be an standard, but not eternal and subject to constant evaluations.

Religion and Morality
I am an active Roman Catholic and a believer. However, Ii do not reconcile morality and religion. For me, the Roman Catholic Church have become so conservative and they are the least likely of all institutions to welcome change. I mean, I rarely use Catholic doctrines in evaluating if something is moral or not. Though in the end of my evaluation, I always ask what God would have really wanted? Would he wanted otherwise? I consider these questions but always come up with still radical results. For example, on the issue of euthanasia, Church would say that God has the only right to take away one's life and so euthanasia would be immoral. But, would God wanted someone to live on and through a feding tube for years? I bet He does not. And so, I believe euthanasia would be moral...

On Morality: My Personal Code
Personally, I do not subscribe to any theory (or at least I do not know to which my personal morality falls under). For me, morality should be evaluated depending on the situation. On the issues of abortion or the right to die for example. If morality says that killing is innately wrong, then abortion and assisted suicide (e.g. Dr. Death's) would be wrong and immoral. For me, it should not be the case. In our class, what I have learned to be the most important thing in indicating an act's morality is to look on both sides. Morality tells us that killing is bad, but what if not committing abortion would be the same as ending the life of the mother? Or what if not helping others to end their lives (case in point:Dr. Death) would be tantamount to living in excruciating pain? Morality

On Freedom
I believe that yes, we are free. But we chose not to be. We know in ourselves that we are fee, but what we do is we subscribe and submit ourselves to social restraints - which for me is good. If everyone is absolutely free. the world would be chaotic. Freedom for be is always there, but we chose to leave it behind and involve ourselves into a society or a group which has a moral standard. Morality constrains freedom.

On Accountability
WE should always be accountable for our decisions. In a narrow sense, a decision is as simple as Yes or No. And no matter which we prefer, we should stand by it. Accountability lies on the firmness of our decisions.

The Moral Individual
An individual is moral for me, if he or she evaluates a certain situation, looking on both sides and then decides what should be done. I would like to believe that a fundamental element of my personal code is Utilitarianism - for happiness in the greatest number.
Death of someone would be morally permissible if it implies that other people becomes happy - that a mother would live a normal and healthy life (in the case of abortion) or that the parents will be a lot happier to see their son dead rather alive only because of a respirator (euthanasia).

In conclusion, I believe that one should not subscribe exclusively to one theory alone. Morality is not like that. Morality is always thinking out of the box, and not confining yourself into it.
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