A Case Study In The Light of Ethical Theories Andreas Sembrant Mahdad Davari Muneeb Khan Nikos Nikoleris Case Study - Euthanasia • Tracy Latimer, a 12 year old girl suffering from cerebral palsy (1993) • She is handicapped and in constant pain • No prospect for any improvement • Her father ended her life as an act of mercy • Eventually, he was found guilty and prisoned for 25 years Is His Act Morally Correct? • • • • Ethical Egoism (Andreas) Utilitarianism (Mahdad) Kantism (Muneeb) Social Contract Theory (Nikos) Ethical Egoism Right action is the action that is most advantageous to oneself in the long run • Frees up resources (Care of a handicapped child takes time, resources and expenses) • Reduces grief in the family • It will be better off for the family (long run) End her life • He will miss her and might feel guilty if ending her life • Potential imprisonment (became reality) Keep alive Utilitarianism Right action is the action that maximizes the overall happiness for all • Free up resources for other people (+) • Lesser misery for the family (+) • Minimize her suffering (+) • She dies (-) • Short term grief (-) • Potential Imprisonment (-) End her life • Keep resources occupied (-) • Continued suffering for relatives (-) • Constant suffering for her (-) • She lives (+) Keep alive Kantism Right action is the action that people can willingly follow in all situations • Dilemma caused by the intention • Is she being killed to free up resources and make family happier? – Yes: Humanity is being used as the mean to achieve an end (morally incorrect) • Is she being killed to end her suffering? – Yes: Humanity is the end and death is the means (morally correct) Social Contract Theory The right action is the action that follows rules that a rational people have agreed to • Euthanasia may be accepted or not by the Social Contract • Euthanasia is not accepted in Canada • Killing the girl breaks the Social Contract, and • The father has to face natural consequences as per the Social Contract Verdict • • • • Ethical Egoism – Kill her! Utilitarianism – don’t know! Kantism – Kill her! Social Contract Theory – don’t kill her!