Who to save?

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Who to save?

Post by star14 on Mon Aug 08, 2011 8:50 am
([msg=60671]see Who to save?[/msg])

Hello there all,

I just got back from my ethics workshop and the lecturer asked a rather very interesting question. Although I found it a common question regarding ethics, i am interested to know your view on this matter ;) . So, here it is:

If you have an equal chance of treating 2 individual from a severe illness that will result in death with no treatment. Although the treatment has a 100 percent chance of success, by treating both patients you will reduce the chance of survival to 3 percent. what would YOU DO?
Individual 1: a 90 years old male with a lot of experience and knowledge
Individual 2: a healthy 21 years old male who is an ex-prisoner and has a poor education status (did not go to college)

There is no right answer for this question so come on give me your view.. :D

p/s: I told the lecturer that i'll only treat patient 2 because he has more potential than the 90 years old male
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Re: Who to save?

Post by skcuf on Mon Aug 08, 2011 10:52 am
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If the question is to really save one or the other, then by the way you have it written I would save the 90 year old man. Seeing as how the description of the 21 year old ex-con says he is healthy, he has no reason for said treatment and obviously wants it to fuel his drug addiction.

However, if they both are truly sick, then I choose to not treat either of the candidates. Treating the 21 year old could potentially cause someone to get hurt if he goes back to his life of crime. Also, IME criminals, even those who are rehabilitated, are never really any use to anyone. They end up taking advantage of the way society works now and don't amount to much. There may be some rare cases where this isn't true but by saving the 21 year old you are ignoring the proven history of why people are in prison.

As for the 90 year old man, would he want to be saved? I doubt at 90 he has much to live for anyways and will probably just want to be left alone, or given some morphine if this disease is painful. I would expect to be left to die if that was me.
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Re: Who to save?

Post by mShred on Mon Aug 08, 2011 2:42 pm
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skcuf wrote:Treating the 21 year old could potentially cause someone to get hurt if he goes back to his life of crime. Also, IME criminals, even those who are rehabilitated, are never really any use to anyone. They end up taking advantage of the way society works now and don't amount to much. There may be some rare cases where this isn't true but by saving the 21 year old you are ignoring the proven history of why people are in prison.

Well damn that's a little harsh don't you think? It doesn't even say what he was in prison for. He could have been in the wrong place at the wrong time, and been thrown in jail over night. Even so, people tend to change. Just because he was in prison, don't mean he's going to go kill someone the minute he gets out of surgery.
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Re: Who to save?

Post by tremor77 on Tue Aug 09, 2011 9:27 am
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I'd slip a drop of ricin into each ones IV drip and watch them both die of what coroners will later describe as heart failure, therefor saving the taxpayers and medicaid a lot of money, helping in the fight against global overpopulation, and giving the doctors in the hospital more time and opportunity to work on some patients that we could actually give a shit about.
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Re: Who to save?

Post by VPR3 on Tue Aug 09, 2011 4:45 pm
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I look at the offense of the 21 year old. If he committed an offense that's punishable enough to be sent to a state or federal prison then he should be killed instantly after his conviction. Quit wasting money on a prison system. Let the old guy live if possible.
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Re: Who to save?

Post by skcuf on Tue Aug 09, 2011 8:37 pm
([msg=60727]see Re: Who to save?[/msg])

mShred wrote:
skcuf wrote:<br>Treating the 21 year old could potentially cause someone to get hurt if he goes back to his life of crime. Also, IME criminals, even those who are rehabilitated, are never really any use to anyone. They end up taking advantage of the way society works now and don't amount to much. There may be some rare cases where this isn't true but by saving the 21 year old you are ignoring the proven history of why people are in prison.<br>
<br>Well damn that's a little harsh don't you think? It doesn't even say what he was in prison for. He could have been in the wrong place at the wrong time, and been thrown in jail over night. Even so, people tend to change. Just because he was in prison, don't mean he's going to go kill someone the minute he gets out of surgery.


That's why I threw the word potentially. And like you say, he could be one of the select few in that situation, but chances are he probably wasn't. I still say let them both die. I can manipulate people if I feel the need to play god. I don't need to decide whether people live or die. Didn't turn out so well for Julius Caesar now did it?
I am criticized by people every day for being too honest. I say what you think.
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Re: Who to save?

Post by Phantom Wolf on Wed Aug 10, 2011 12:11 am
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Can we really base this decision on the information we're given? The 90-year-old could've been a serial killer or something worse than whatever the 21-year-old was sent to prison for. Then again, the 21-year-old could've been sent to prison for raping orphans or something terrible like that.
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Re: Who to save?

Post by Gatito on Wed Aug 10, 2011 4:21 am
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Well if we say that he got in prison at legal age 18 and is released at 21, that makes at most 3 years served. Now I haven't actually killed anyone yet so I don't know how many years I would earn for that but I think that murder is out of question, maybe accidental murder? Maybe assault? How much points you get for rape? I dunno. On the other side he may have served some years at a juvenile camp of some sort for screwing up and that would make for more than 3 years on his account. And not going to collage isn't poor education, it's more like middle I think and the only thing stopping him from going could be his time spent in prison.

90 years is quite old, he could be senile. What experience and knowledge? If he was that great than he probably spread that knowledge already and if not he won't do it now.

I also like tremor's idea but rather than killing them directly I would treat both of them and make a gamble out of it.
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Re: Who to save?

Post by brainiac3397 on Wed Aug 10, 2011 11:59 pm
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Treat them both without telling them that treating them both will reduce their chance of survival to 3%. Of course i'd charge them a certain fee for the treatment.(My evil side)

Treat the 21 year old leaving the old man to die.(neutral side)

Treat the 90 year old and immediately extract as much of his knowledge as capable. His experience and knowledge could be significantly helpful to humanity...or me if i'm feeling selfish.(Good side)

In the end i'd probably tell them both i'd be treating them but give the old man the actual treatment while giving the young man a nice overdose of morphine to end his pain. I'd also be sure to get some money out of it also. Of course there are many factors that could change my end decision.

Just to clear up why I've got 3 opinions up there is because i tend to think with 3 different views. You can say it's sort of a list of certain possibilities. It probably has to do with my eccentricity.
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Re: Who to save?

Post by edone automaton on Sun Aug 14, 2011 5:02 am
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100 percent success falling to 3 per cent with additional treatments. How did this medicine make it past the research stage?

So since there is only a guaranteed cure once, I assume whoever I decide to treat is going to be the first person to ever receive this treatment, thus rendering it virtually ineffectual (statistically) for anyone receiving it thereon in. This gives the scenario implications beyond the lives of the two men in question, in which case I would save it for a more deserving patient / less morally ambiguous scenario.

In fact, I would save this one shot medicine for myself in case I ever got the disease.
A wise man can learn more from a foolish question than a fool can learn from a wise answer.
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