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Upper Iowa UniversityDepartment
I need help with a Philosophy question. All explanations and answers will be used to help me learn.
In my eyes, and moral consciousness, assisted suicide is ethical depending on the patients state of mind. If someone has dementia, Alzheimer’s, or is in a vegetative state, do they really have the brain capacity to make those decisions. Some could look at the utilitarian point of view, with that being what they think is right for the person or society, regardless of the state that the individual is in. In my opinion, that mindset is immoral because who says you or anyone else can make that decision for someone who can’t make that for themselves?
My view on physician-assisted suicide is that if someone is suffering legitimatly then it should be allowed and an unarguable right to live or die. The reason I personally believe it is acceptable is that I watched my grandfather suffering from pancreatic cancer and as he laid there in agony dying consciously, he pleaded with the doctors to end it all, The whole family agreed to it but they did nothing because they didn’t want to be liable under the law, after a while a sympathetic doctor that was verbally persuaded by our family finally put him into a coma and allowed him to die peacefully and pain-free. I think there shouldn’t be laws regulating life nor death to an extent but rather there be laws that allow circumstantially justified assisted physician suicide. What one person chooses to do with their life should be their own decision to make and there should not be laws restricting doctors from helping people make that decision as long as there is a legitimate reason like a terminal illness or a debilitating injury.
There would have to be some obvious questions asked of course as we can’t allow doctors to help kill people for no good reason but asking the questions like – will ending someone’s pain and suffering be better for the family? I think it is completely acceptable. Is this life being ended for personal gain? The gain of money or to gain freedom from a burden? If it’s for money I believe its unacceptable but if it allows your family to continue with their own life without the burden or strain, then I agree it’s acceptable. It would not only benefit the person who is suffering but you have to consider their family who is most often suffering alongside their dying or debilitated relative. Consider dementia and Alzheimers, when people have these their families have to care for them 100 percent of the time even if that family member suffering has no idea who they are or whats going on, and often I have seen siblings fight over whether or not they can take care of their parent on certain days, vacations are non-existent, everything has to be planned around it and completely impacts the well being of the families from being overstressed from the total loss of their own lives and in some cases it causes extreme depression, suicide, and murder. I myself would never burden my child nor family with the responsibility that comes with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and other debilitating illnesses and it decreases their quality of life and that is not fair to them nor the greater good of the family itself.
I would like to believe it is ethical, honorable, and merciful to not want to burden others and consider it selfish to impose complete care of one’s self on others unless they are being paid to do so as their profession, but you have to take into consideration some people cant afford these services and should be allowed the freedom to choose life or death.
If a person is suffering and is terminally ill and wants to end their life they should be able to. The family should have a say with their decision. I believe utilitarianist would agree with me on this. My reasoning is Denmark has similar policies and Denmark is a beacon of light for utilitarians. Denmark is often the happiest country. Duty ethics would have similar out comes. If everyone that became terminally ill or severely ill and committed suicide would the world be a worse place? I wouldn’t say so. It’s hard to say how Aristotle would put it. Would you be courageous for ending the pain or are you taking the cowards way out?
This is a topic that is very controversial. It is closely related to and essentially euthanasia. There are many things that go into play on something like this. It is obviously a very painful situation for the patient and it must extremely difficult for them to want to essentially end their own life. So, I feel that if that is there wish who are we to tell them that they have to live and that the life they have to live from here on out is going to be constant suffering.
However, clearly, there are ethical issues that this brings up. The fact that a doctor can prescribe a patient’s death is definitely concerning. However, if that is there wish then I feel that is something that we should honor. Yes, the utilitarian theory says otherwise but I think you could look at Duty- based ethics and you can look at it like it is your duty to do as the patient wishes, it is still something that is a major decision and something that doctor would have to live with as well. Also, from a virtue theory perspective, you can look at it as the right decision for that person and not look at the necessary outcome.
Vegetarianism is great in pairing with virtue-ethics. Why you may ask? Because it saves animal lives and keeps our virtues in tact. Killing to only benefit ourselves is still killing, regardless if it’s for clothes, food, or protection. Vegetarianism lets us grow our own food, create self-sustaining resources and saves lives.
Virtue ethics emphasizes the role of character and virtue rather than an outcome or one’s duty. So, if you were looking at vegetarianism from a virtue ethics point of view you would see it as more of that person’s choice based on virtues. They do not see it as wrong based on an outcome or it not necessarily one’s duty, it is rather based on virtues and that persons in particular. If you are saving animal’s lives then you are in line with your virtues and therefor virtue-based ethics would back that.
My personal view is not really one side or the other. If you eat meat I don’t see any problem with that. It is what was intended to happen. On the other hand, if you are a vegetarian and you decide not to eat meat I feel that is also your right. Like the virtue theory stats, if it is in your virtues then it can’t be wrong. Everyone’s virtues are going to be different and vary in some way so everyone will feel different about vegetarianism based on their virtues. I don’t feel it is necessarily something you can say one side is right and one side is wrong because it is heavily based on opinion and your personal feelings and virtues.
You can eat 99% of animals. You can’t say the same for plants. Personally the ethics of vegetarianism are missing science. I can understand not wanting to cause pain and suffering to animals. There is justice in wanting everything to be treated fair. This is most noble thing I can see as being a vegetarian. My views are that the reason humans have evolved to where we are is by eating cooked meat. There is vitamins that you can’t get from anywhere else except cooked meat. When I mean eating meat I mean nose to tail and majority of the organs as well. Plants cant run away and have developed toxins to keep from being eating, unless there is a benefit like having your seeds distributed like a seed in an apple. If you watch herbivores they wont eat the same plants all day unless they have to. Plants will release toxins that can make you feel ill or worse if consumed to much. Don’t believe me eat a whole nutmeg. just be careful where you do this.
Virtue ethics come from an emphasis on strength of character and a sense of morality. They try to take after who they would perceive as a morally good person, meaning they would very much take after vegans and defend it with virtues of compassion and fairness. They acknowledge that animals have inherent value like humans and shouldn’t be owned or killed. Though I understand the logic, I can’t say I agree. Humans are nothing more than animals, but ethically we are not the same. Bringing up Kant, he states humans are “kingdom of ends,” meaning we have a duty to protect all members of the animal kingdom. However, since animals are not morale agents capable of governing themselves with autonomous rational choice, humans have no moral obligations to animals, at least not fully. They still deserve respect as living beings, but they are not worthy of the same respect as one’s fellow man.
I’m a pescatarian, so to an extent, I understand their views, but even looking at it non-logically/ethically, I still believe that it is a flawed set of ideals. Though I do believe in (non-cruel) testing on animals, as well as the use of animals for clothing and other products, I will focus on animals as use as food. As stated, prior, we are animals same as everything else, and though we are different ethically, that’s one of the few differences. Nature is an intricate thing, and the food chain within it is something that has always existed. Foxes kill chickens, and rats/raccoons take their eggs. Their lives are extremely short being at the near bottom of the food chain, and humans have nothing to do with that. Whether they are overly exploited is another matter, but it is true that they have always been used for food and acting like that’s the fault of humans is naïve and somewhat egotistical.