Subject: Business / Management
Some of the most difficult ethical decisions arise at the times of birth and death. With death, it is a time of absolutes. A wrong decision cannot be redone. One cannot change the prescription and correct an earlier mistake. Because it is so final, so absolute, ethical decisions made at the time of death take on an even greater importance.
A doctor is caring for an elderly gentleman who is suffering from terminal cancer. He is on heavy pain meds, has an IV with antibiotics, and is on a respirator. He has a DNR signed and attached to his chart. He is slipping in and out of consciousness, and the doctor believes it is only a matter of days before the patient will pass on. The patient’s son, who is also his legal guardian, comes to the doctor and asks him to stop the respirator and the IV drip.
Discuss what is the ethically right thing to do.
Remember, you must support your answer with ethical arguments, not just personal beliefs (otherwise we degenerate into personal relativism which is basically indefensible). Now that you understand utilitarianism with its emphasis on long-term consequences as well as deontology and personal virtue, you can do a more thorough discussion than even the authors of the text. Choose one of these cases and explore the ethical implications.
Your paper should be 750- 1000 words in length (three to four pages).
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