Death: It Should Be Your Choice

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The subject of “Death” has often sparked controversial debates of, is it right or wrong, whether humans should be deciding one’s fate or just leave a human to die of their own will. I will present three controversial topics, the death penalty, abortion, and euthanasia, which have divided our nation between if it should be allowed or not allowed. Living in a nation with freedom of speech usually sways with the major opinion and tends to cloud what is morally or ethically the right path to take on the issue of death. One would have to keep in mind our society is made up of many different cultures, which means one cultures view of wrong could be another cultures view of what is right. My claim is pro choice on the matter of death because people use free will all their lives, but when it comes to death that right is not available or seen as wrong in the eyes of society. I will demonstrate why pro-choice with issues like the death penalty where hardened criminal’s decisions to kill another which is wrong choose the death penalty as they are aware of the consequence; a woman deciding on abortion should have the choice to proceed or not with the birth of a child; and euthanasia should be available to those who cannot deal with a critical illness that does not allow for self care or machine assisted living comas. Let’s move forward and dive into why it is the choice of the criminal to except the punishment of their heinous crimes by way of the death penalty.

The criminal’s choice for the death penalty happens as soon as the death of another has taken place. The reason I say that the criminals choose the death penalty is because a human has contemplated the act that they are going to commit and are willing to accept the consequences that come along with it. Haag (1986) expressed that one may believe that everyone involved, the murderer and victim, has a right to life and not the death. I feel that the criminal that murders the victim gives up that right of life and chooses the consequence of the death penalty. Society would have us think the death penalty is wrong and needs to be abolished.

The feelings that the death penalty by the moral and ethical side of society sees it as wrong and only done because people think it is a deterrent of horrible homicidal crimes. Radelet & Akers (1996) did a survey that asked if the death penalty was a deterrent of murders how would you vote, the people were for it, and once they resurveyed and informed people that the death penalty was not a deterrent of murders, the people’s vote dropped drastically. This is why the moral and ethical side of society is insisting the death penalty be abolished from a choice of punishment for hardened criminals because most of society assumes that the death penalty helps prevent murder and other heinous crimes. This type of thinking takes away the ability to dispose of a human that has a disregard for the laws and human rights of our society. Without the choice of even considering the death penalty for the worst of worst eventually these criminals will be right back on the streets. The choice of having the death penalty available stops that from happening. I’ll give an example of another issue with the same kind of controversy abortion.

I feel women’s choice to have an abortion should not be criticized. Women through the ages have been forced to keep unwanted babies because it has been classified as a crime of murder and the facilities are not available to correctly or safely abort a pregnancy. There is physical and emotional change that affects a woman when carrying a child. I know there is life when carrying a fetus, but if that woman is not able to provide or in a position to properly care for a child why not have the option to abort the pregnancy, not to mention women that have become pregnant as a result of abuse? The woman has to live with the decision of following through with the abortion and the choice she has made was a personal one, her right not that of society. Finer & Fine (2013) find that there are about 39% of countries that still do not allow for women to have the choice to terminate a pregnancy. Well let’s explore the flip side of the issue why abortion should not be allowed.

The act of abortion is a thoughtless woman who is not considering the life opportunities of the fetus growing inside her. Marquis (1989) argues that abortion is wrong because it deprives the fetus of its future. This philosophy is believed because society feels you should give the fetus a fighting chance to be determined their future by allowing them to live. This kind of rationale needs to take in to account that the child depends on the mother for the rest of her life to provide for them. I feel the philosophy to not abort just sets up the unborn child for an unfair start in to reach their potential in life. We need to remember we are humans and mistakes are made and each case is unique and should be treated as such for example, the woman could have been a rape victim that brought about an unwanted pregnancy or a woman used protection and the protection failed. The reason for abortion is not really relevant it’s the option to have abortion available for women without recourse for their decision. Another issue dealing with death is euthanasia with massive ridicule of the act.

The act of euthanasia should be an available choice of those with critical illnesses that leave a person unable to care for one’s self and not for those in perfect health. I feel that the choice to allow a love one dignity and peace must be an available option. I know cures are found everyday, but some religions prevent people from taking them leaving them with only option of euthanasia. Duncan & Parmelee (2006) did a study that showed that times had changed the decisions towards euthanasia for most patients and cases dealing with suffering as a solution. Most people would like to die with people’s memory of them as seen in a proud and healthy state. Having illnesses like Alzheimer’s, Dementia, and Cancer can leave a person in a state where they are embarrassed of how vulnerable and weak they have become. This state of suffering should be consulted during the early stages in order to carry out ones wishes. Others feel allowing euthanasia will cause a slippery slope of unnecessary death in cases where there are possible cures or lead to others wanting to request for euthanasia.

The disapproval of euthanasia expresses that it devalues human life. Gay-Williams (1979) feels that euthanasia is wrong and that a loved one is taking advantage of a sick helpless person. I feel other people fear death and do not want the responsibility of taking the life of someone they love life, but the disease has already done that. These are good arguments, but again the choice of the person should be their own and we must respect that. I stated earlier that everyone has his or her beliefs and cultures that play a part in their decisions and we must honor those choices. It has also been argued that if we allow sick people to choose death why can’t anyone have this right. I feel this is not the case you would be committed if you wanted to just commit suicide without prior illness. This is not what euthanasia is intended for but if someone would want to do so there should be some strict guidelines allowing this to take place. The option of choice for death must be explored all the same.

The topic of death really forces you to explore your moral and ethical choices of what is best for yourself regarding issues like the death penalty, abortion and euthanasia. Society needs to remember our nation is made up of people with the freedom to choose what they think is best for themselves. We have laws like the death penalty to keep us safe from criminals that can cause harm to our way of living. Though society feels its inhumane at the end of the day our streets are little bit safer with them executed. The same with abortion, ones choice to follow through with the procedure should not be criticized by society. You do not know the process of the woman coming to the conclusion of abortion and preventing the choice just means you will be losing two lives instead of one if procedure is done incorrectly. Euthanasia should be a choice for all humans and it does not devalue life it allows a person to die with dignity. Being able to choose should not be restricted because society does not understand the reasoning, and society must respect the freedom we have to choose these options.

References

Duncan, O D, and L F Parmelee. “Trends In Public Approval Of Euthanasia And Suicide In The U.S., 1947-2003.”Journal Of Medical Ethics: The Journal Of The Institute Of Medical Ethics 32.5 (2006): 266-272. Philosopher’s Index. Web. 20 May 2013.

Finer, Louise, and Johanna B. Fine. “Abortion Law Around The World: Progress And Pushback.” American Journal Of Public Health 103.4 (2013): 1197-e5. SPORTDiscus with Full Text. Web. 20 May 2013.

Gay-Williams, J., “The Wrongfulness of Euthanasia,” 709-11 (edited). Copyright 1979 by                        Ronald Munson. Publish from Ronald Munson, “Intervention and Reflection: Basic Issues in Medical Ethics,” 4th Edition. Wadsworth Publishing Company: Belmont, California

Haag, Ernest van de, “The Ultimate Punishment: A Defense,” Harvard Law Review 99 (1986): 1662-69 (edited). Copyright 1886 by Havard Law Review Association.

Marquis, Don, “Why Abortion Is Immoral,” Journal of Phlosophy, vol.86, April1989, 183-202 Reprinted by permission of author and Journal of Philosophy

Radelet, Michael L., and Ronald L. Akers. “Deterrence And The Death Penalty: The Views Of The Experts.” The Journal Of Criminal Law And Criminology (1973-) 1 (1996): 1. JSTOR Arts & Sciences IV. Web. 20 May 2013.

Euthanasia: My Life My Choice

 

In the article ” Wrongfulness of the Euthanasia” by J. Gay-Williams he express how wrong it is to conduct euthanasia on a human life. Gay-Williams goes on to say that if we as a society continue to allow euthanasia that it will just be used as a scapegoat to killing human life at any sign of suffering. Gay-Williams feel we will miss out on “miraculous” recoveries of painful and fatal sick because we are not giving the body time to heal. i feel Gay-Williams is not being realistic about his argument. Euthanasia is used as a last resort for those with painful and fatal illness to die with some dignity. Family members and spouses feel that their love one’s have gone beyond the means of suffering and decides to ease the pain by granting death.

Unless you have witness someone suffering with bone cancer, lung cancer, AIDS, Leukemia you cannot really justify ruling out euthanasia. Family members and spouses do not come to terms easily to make a decision about a matter as serious as death, but the decision must be made. Doctors  are usually always consulted to see if euthanasia is the right direction to go. The reasoning behind this is because doctors never want to give up on a patient and family and spouses know this and respects their suggestion. i feel that Gay-Williams have not looked at hard numbers to make an educated argument to rule how many euthanasia death occur yearly.


 

1998 16 6/10,000 total deaths
1999 27 9/10,000 total deaths
2000 27 9/10,000 total deaths
2001 21 7/10,000 total deaths
2002 38 13/10,000 total deaths

Let’s take Oregon in the years of 1998-2002 were there physicians assisted suicide death were not that high. Not many family actually go through with the decision to decide death for a loved one. this means the Gay-williams theory was excessive of the slippery slope he was trying to draw from.

I feel when that option to relieve a family member of pain and suffering I would like to have euthanasia available as an option to ease that pain with death.

Is the Death Penalty the Answer?

 

The death penalty the ultimate scare to detour one for committing a crime. There’s been many debates on whether the death penalty is the correct means of punishment.  Some people say yes to killing murderers, molesters, and rapist. Does killing by death bring back those which were lost or allow revenge for those who have suffered the  lost? I feel that the death penalty glorifies retaliation for those who have lost a love one to a violent crime. Everyone who’s served the death penalty is not alway the guilty but  accused and innocent.

There was a news story in Maryland of a man  accused of raping and murdering a nine-year old little girl and  sentenced to the death penalty in Maryland. Kurt Bloodsworth identified by his neighbor and three other little kids that were friend of the nine year old and immediately put in to custody and sentence to the death penalty with not further investigation to prove if he was really the murderer. Kurt never had any prior convictions on his record but police still did consider that he was not the one who committed the crime. It was till five years later a DNA test proved that Kurt could not be the killer of the little girl and the real killer discovered. If Kurt’s date to be executed was moved up a year earlier an innocent man would have been wrongly killed. this case clearly proves tow wrongs don’t make a right. Just because criminal has committed a heinous crime does not give us the right to condemn them to death. I don’t feel that is our right to decide and plus I feel that is an easy out for the criminal. Like Maryland I feel it should be abolished and other means of punishment be created. Is the  Death penalty the answer? I say no because you can never be sure you have the right person for the crime and how can we live knowing we killed someone innocents.

How Moral Ideals Create Conflict in Society ?

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Moral ideas are taught to us as humans at a young age. Moral ideals like honesty, justice, courage, gratitude and etc. In different life situation these ideas come in conflict of one another and forces you to choose one the best fit for you. Each moral ideal justifies our daily decision whether its right or wrong but has society warp these moral ideals to the point that they have lost there meaning. I have a couple of example that will bring to light what we need to be aware of.

burglar

Let start with what keeps us safe justice. the laws put in place to protect society of wrong doings and one that does commits wrong. I’m reminded of a story where a burglar was committing burglary of a private homeowners home and fell through the skylight in the roof landing on a butcher knife that was laying out. The justice that should be served in this situation is to arrest the burglar the end. this story take a weird twist by having the burglar sue the homeowner for falling through the skylight and being injured. This moral ideal of justice was twisted to help someone doing wrong. For our justice system to even consider the case is an injustice to the people of  our country. It also does not allow for the homeowner to be able to forgive the burglar or our justice system for failing them.

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The next example of moral ideals is demonstrated by those who are homeless and on the side of the road pan handling for money  to eat. This is where human compassion is taken advantage of and people play the role of a homeless person for personal gain.  A news report did an investigative story behind this a few years ago. The report revealed that these so-called homeless pan handlers were making six figures begging for money. For those really in need are seen as dishonest. The compassion felt for homelessness is now unable to  determine a homeless person as honest or dishonest. There are many example like this for every moral ideal, but do moral ideals protect us from conflict or create new conflict in our decision-making?

Sexism in Advertising: How Far is Too Far?

FIAT 500 Abarth - Seduction - 2012 Super Bowl Contender

FIAT 500 Abarth – Seduction – 2012 Super Bowl Contender

Has advertising gone too far on their ads? I would say Yes! Society has become so accepting with whats on television these days that commercials are becoming more and more bizarre. Super Bowl is a time where the commercials are closely watched to out do each year of who will have the best ad. A commercial displaying a seductively dress woman teasing a geek to sell a car is a prime example of how far an advertising companies will take commercials during the Super bowl competition. The last few years of Super Bowl commercial have not been great because the ads have gone too far with exploitation. Before the commercial during Super bowl where very creative with the Budweiser frogs in the swamp and dancing babies drinking Pepsi. These new commercials advertisements are giving a false reality to the generations to come. Will the right car get you with that beautiful woman? Maybe or maybe not. That has been the tactics of marketing for years. These marketing companies do not really care to much of who the ad offend but will it get the attention of the watcher.  The more outrageous the ad the more attention it will receive bad and good. The products in these ads are most important and morals and ethic takes the far back seat.  The ads do not just stop at television, but the magazines are just as bad or maybe a little worst. The magazine ads must be more captive to the reader or they will get overlooked. you may see an ad with a woman eating a banana but meant to resemble her performing oral sex on a man. Another example would be a magazine ads described in the article where a woman is being gang banged to advertise Dolce & Gabbana product because they believe women like it rough. Advertisers continue to push the sex ads on us as a society, but when will we not tolerate it no longer. The big question is whose at fault for letting it go this far the advertisers or society accepting the ads?

Porn: Is Women in Pornography a Step Forward or Backwards

In the article by Wendy McElroy, “A Feminist Defense of Pornography” describes a war between women having sexual freedom and those women against having sexual freedom. The women for sexual freedom were women who felt pornography was an expression or the discovery of their sexuality.  The women against sexual freedom felt that women in pornography depicts them as “sexual object”. The view of the anti-porn feminist is what every young woman is taught to see pornography as disgusting, degrading, and horrible. Why is sex so taboo for women? Women have sexual urges just like men. Why is the pro-sex feminist seen as such a let down to women’s reputation for what they take part in? I feel like women are judged for what they choose as their profession. In the article pro-sex feminist were portrayed as being forced in to performing the acts in pornography films. This implied that men were oppressors of women in the porn industry. The anti-porn feminist could not come to a better understanding about how women participation in such acts degradation. I feel that the anti-porn feminist feel like it is a step backward of women being seen as equals because men can say women do not respect themselves. The pro -sex feminist feels that they are in an industry were they’re the star, they get paid top dollar for their services and they have decision-making power. I do not think the argument of the anti-porn feminist does not hold up as strong because the women porn do not have to hide in shame for what they do but glorified by fans just as regular super stars. i also feel porn has given these women a way to express the sexual freedom without being condemned but embrace. the pro-sex feminist sees the new-found liberation to be a step forward and having not to be just performers but directors and producer of the pornography movies produced.

Is Judgement of Other’s Right?

The use of judgement in our society has become blurred. There are more cultures living in America today with different view of how one is to be judged then when America first colonized. One  of today culture would say it’s alright to have 4 families live under one single family home. A neighbor would disagree and report the living conditions as unfit. These types of judgement happen all he time . The chapter six in the book describes the “is” and “ought to be”. The “is” represents the facts and the “ought to be” is the moral standard that each individual lives by. How do we decide the “ought to be” with so many different culture let alone organizations?

I think that each culture and organization has a common ground to conduct judgement. Let’s look at 9/11 attacks where middle-eastern citizen were judged for act of a few from their culture. All middle-eastern people if citizens or not became public enemy number one. Was the judgement fair or just? The “ought to be” overwhelmed the “is” because the facts at the end of the day was Americans were lost. The middle-eastern people who committed the crime, was this the way they handled their way of protest against a cause? That fact would be yes, this was how things are expressed in the their culture, but not by all. I feel Americans forget hat they committed the same crime to African-American in the early years of building the country. Homes, churches, and buses were bombed because of the hate of a race. i am not siding that either act was right, but neither has the right to judge one another for their crimes. I feel judgement lead us as humans down a road that can never be erased and create laws that are unnecessary to the progress of moving forward. The answer to the question is no it’s not right to judge each other by culture or as peoples morals.