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 ALEGRE Questions for the Third Exam

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PostSubject: ALEGRE Questions for the Third Exam   ALEGRE Questions for the Third Exam Icon_minitimeSun Mar 29, 2009 11:38 pm

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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PostSubject: Re: ALEGRE Questions for the Third Exam   ALEGRE Questions for the Third Exam Icon_minitimeMon Mar 30, 2009 9:40 pm

1. The issue of mercy killing by performing assisted euthanasia really tests our moral wisdom. In

cases where Jack Kevorkian, who is also called Dr. Death, performed assisted Euthanasia on patients who

were fully autonomous in seeking assisted death, Dr. Death's action is MORALLY EXCUSABLE. Given the

situation that the patient is confirmed to be terminally ill, I believe that killing a person by means of

performing assisted Euthanasia is NOT always regarded as wrong. Also, performing assisted Euthanasia

would end the intolerable and unwanted suffering of the patient. Against the general belief that the role of the

physician is to always HEAL their patients and to bring the normal lives of these people (life full of

happiness, pleasure and love), there are extreme situations in which the physician also has to choose the

best service that he/she can render (aside from healing the patient) and that is to perform assisted death to

those patients who are terminally ill and who seek euthanasia. Patients under these extreme situations are

already hopeless of having normal lives so it would be better, as a physician, to minimize their unnecessary

sufferings by means of physician-assisted death.

If the science of medicine has done all the things in order to bring back the normal life of the patient, but

the attempt is not successful, it is better to perform assisted euthanasia for the sake of those who love the

patient. In the perspective of the patient's family member, it is also an extreme sacrifice to see your loved

ones suffering from severe pain. Moreover, the patient would also prefer a meaningful life (full of comfort,

love and happiness) if he/she is given the chance to live BUT the patient also has the right to end his life to

avoid more sufferings, pain, agony, despair and indignity.

2. My personal moral code would adopt Kant's ethical theory. An individual should always act based on his duties.

Before studying ethics, I thought that the best way to evaluate the morality of an individual is by looking

at the consequences of his/her actions but learning the theory of Kant, I prefer to adopt his theory as the

basis of my personal moral code. These duties should be under the categorical imperative or you must do

the action/duty no matter what. Your action is in accordance with good will.

Kant believes that morality is derived from the ability to think rationally, which enables beings to be free. If

one is not free, then one cannot be held responsible. Thus only free individuals are moral agents and all free

individuals are capable of acting out of reason. Kant’s moral theory is largely focused on protecting and

promoting the free action of rational beings.

The morality of the individual can be seen in its duties and NOT on the consequence of one's actions.

Given the rationality of an individual, he is accountable to all the actions he's doing (these actions

should be based on one's duty).

A moral individual, for me, is someone who is doing an action based on his duty and in the most

reasonable way. I won't say that a moral individual will not hurt other people because I believe that moral

people can sometimes encounter an extreme situation which involves a decision that may hurt other people

but still considered as “moral”. Citing the situation in the first question of this exam, Dr. Death is still

considered moral based on my personal moral code because what he did is to minimize the unwanted

suffering of his patients and his action was based on his duty as a physician, not only to heal his patients,

but also to assist his patients on whatever service/action that will minimize the suffering of his patient.
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