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  #21  
Old 20th November 2007, 04:24 PM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is offline
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good example, but I would add that amputating a limb depends for its morality on circumstances. So we cannot generally say that it is moral or immoral, without knowing the circumstances.
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  #22  
Old 20th November 2007, 04:33 PM
Brother Brother is offline
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Default Siamese

A case of Siamese brothers who share the same heart and they would soon die if they continue to grow like this (attached to each other).

The doctor decides to kill one of the brothers (by reagruping the necessary organs to one of the brothers - the one whom the doctor considers is better developed), in order to save on life; otherwise, both lives would be lost.
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  #23  
Old 20th November 2007, 04:43 PM
Brother Brother is offline
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There are cases where both lives can be saved, of course, but I'm talking about a case where both lives are in jeopardy, wher both can die if nothing is done soon.
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  #24  
Old 20th November 2007, 05:00 PM
js1975 js1975 is offline
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To compare Rob's example to a real scenario that occured a few years ago, see below. I remember watching it on Good Morning America.


Hiking his way through a 3-foot-wide section of Utah's Blue John Canyon, Aron Ralston had no warning before the giant boulder shifted onto him, pinning his right arm in a crack in the canyon wall.

He had been stuck for four days when his water ran out. On the sixth day, the 27-year-old mountain climber knew there was only one way he could survive.

Using a pocketknife, Ralston cut off his own arm.


For the complete story: HERE
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  #25  
Old 20th November 2007, 05:21 PM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brother View Post
A case of Siamese brothers who share the same heart and they would soon die if they continue to grow like this (attached to each other).

The doctor decides to kill one of the brothers (by reagruping the necessary organs to one of the brothers - the one whom the doctor considers is better developed), in order to save on life; otherwise, both lives would be lost.

This is also a good example of the principle of double effect.
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  #26  
Old 20th November 2007, 06:58 PM
Rob Rob is offline
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How about siamese twins which have separate brains and limbs but have the same heart yet they are similarly developed? Would it be moral to suppress one of them? On what grounds would you decide which one must survive if both of them are equally developed?
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  #27  
Old 20th November 2007, 08:07 PM
Paul Bellett Paul Bellett is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob View Post
How about siamese twins which have separate brains and limbs but have the same heart yet they are similarly developed? Would it be moral to suppress one of them? On what grounds would you decide which one must survive if both of them are equally developed?
I would imagine for this scenario when either outcome is indeterminate for one of the twins, that they would likely have to toss (heads -win, tails lose) for which one that lives and which one may have to die?
In all Siamese twin cases so far to date as far as I am aware, it has always been necessary to separate them from a medical perspective?
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  #28  
Old 26th November 2007, 12:50 AM
Justin Angel Justin Angel is offline
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Cool Pde

Here is an instance when the PDE does not apply:

In the story 'For Whom the Bell Tolls', by Ernest Hemmingway, Robert Jordan and his commrade are being chased and shot at by Spanish government soldiers in the Spanish Civil War. Jordan's commrade is shot and seriously wounded and so is unable to run any further. He reminds Jordan of their pact, that neither of them must allow the other to be taken alive by the enemy to undergo torture and thereby risk divulging compromising information about their anti-fascist guerilla operations. Jordan reluctantly takes aim with his rifle and shoots his commrade in the head before the approaching soldiers arrive.

The Principle of Double Effect is void in this case, for the good effect (avoiding capture and torture) must be produced by the action, not by the bad effect (killed by a bullet in the head). A bad means (shooting a man in the head) was used to achieve a good end (avoiding capture and torture), so Jordan's act was morally unlawful and sinful. In fact, Jordan believed that what he had done was an act of murder and he refused to be congratulated by his superior officer for having carried out his duty.

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Last edited by Justin Angel : 26th November 2007 at 12:55 AM. Reason: emphasis
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  #29  
Old 26th November 2007, 06:21 PM
garabandalg garabandalg is offline
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Default Triage and double effect

How does triage play into this? In medicine and other areas, triage means you decide to forego helping those beyond help, delay helping those in no immediate danger and concentrate on those for whom immediate help is likely to do the most good.

I would imagine that, absent some defect in the way one determines who is beyond help, who does not need help right away and who can most benefit from help right away, triage is usually the most moral way to go?
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  #30  
Old 27th November 2007, 12:02 AM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by garabandalg View Post
How does triage play into this? In medicine and other areas, triage means you decide to forego helping those beyond help, delay helping those in no immediate danger and concentrate on those for whom immediate help is likely to do the most good.

I would imagine that, absent some defect in the way one determines who is beyond help, who does not need help right away and who can most benefit from help right away, triage is usually the most moral way to go?

Triage is moral because if you help the person with minor injuries first, the person with more serious injuries may die. But if you help the person with the more serious injuries first, both will live. So the act of helping the more seriously injured is a moral act. The negative effect of a longer wait for the person with the lesser injury is outweighed by the positive effect of doing the most good (medically) as quickly as possible. Sometimes a person with very serious injuries is triaged so that they are not treated first, because the chances of saving them are low. This is just when the good of saving other lives outweighs the loss of a life which likely could not be saved.
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