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Rachels XP#1, "What is Morality?"
Transcript of Rachels XP#1, "What is Morality?"
Case of Baby Theresa
Case of Baby Jane Doe
(1) If no one would benefit from a medical treatment, then the treatment would be pointless and it need not be performed.
(2) In the case of Baby Jane Doe no one, not even the baby herself, would have benefited from surgery
(3) Therefore, the surgery need not have been performed
Doe/I. Benefits Argument Again
(1) Every human life is individually and uniquely sacred.
(2) Therefore, every individual, regardless of age or handicap, should be given whatever medical treatment is needed to preserve his or her life.
(3) Therefore, the surgery on Baby Jane Doe should have been performed
Doe/II. Sanctity Argument
(1) It is wrong to discriminate against handicapped people.
(2) There is no doubt that Baby Jane Doe was terribly handicapped and that treatment was denied on this basis; hence, Doe was discriminated against on the basis of a handicap.
(3) Therefore, the parents' decision was wrong. The surgery should have been performed.
Doe/III. Discrimination Argument
Case of Tracy Latimer
(1) Moral judgments must be backed by good reasons .
Rachels' Minimum Conception
Purposes of Chapter:
1. Provides an introduction to ethical reasoning.
2. Examination of cases suggests a basic conception of morality.
Main Moral Issue?
Used Handout #1 to examine arguments (Three arguments)
*Recall Logical Arguments*
Conditions: spina bifida, hydrocephaly,
*Main Moral Issue?
*Evaluation: What is 'benefit?' (Factual/Conceptual notion)
*Evaluation: premise 2 implication
*Evaluation: What does 'discrimination' mean? (**Consider**)
==> Rachels: Doe was not discriminated against!
Cerebral Palsy: a variety of conditions in which brain damage, usually occurring at birth, impairs motor function, muscle control, balance, and sometimes mental development.
*Main Moral Issue?
Latimer/Slippery Slope Argument
(1) If we accept the idea that Tracy's life is "not worth living," then we may take the same attitude towards the lives of other persons.
(2) That would be monstrous.
(3) Therefore, we should not accept the idea that Tracy Latimer may be killed.
*Evaluation: This argument is easy to abuse
Definition: Morality is the effort to guide one's conduct by impartial reasons.
(2) Morality requires impartial consideration of each individual's interests .
Born with anencephaly
Parents' understanding of facts: see pgs. 7-8