Killing someone to save your own life

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Killing someone to save your own life

Post Number:#1  Postby cooltodd109 » February 28th, 2007, 10:30 pm

Is it immoral to kill someone to save your own life?

For example, if I would die unless I got a heart transplant, would it be immoral to kill someone for their heart?

It seems like it wouldn't, but isn't it basically the same thing as defense?
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Killing someone to save your own life



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Post Number:#2  Postby captain_crunk » March 1st, 2007, 5:59 pm

For example, if I would die unless I got a heart transplant, would it be immoral to kill someone for their heart?

It seems like it wouldn't, but isn't it basically the same thing as defense?


It seems like it wouldn't be immoral to kill an innocent person so you can selfishly take their heart from them?? Wow. I find it hard to believe that anyone can think like that.

In no way, shape, or form does this seem like the same thing as defense. Defense implies that you are at risk of harm due to actions taken against you by another person (or in some cases, albeit not this one, at risk due to the lack of action taken by another). That's not what's happening here.
So in my opinion, yes it would be very wrong to kill someone to save your own life, at least in the example given.
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Post Number:#3  Postby lemondrop » March 1st, 2007, 9:44 pm

A person must consent to donate their organs for another's use. (You cannot transplant an organ yourself, so you must go through the proper channels so that argument is mute) A person donates their organs to help another live when they cannot viably live any longer. The donor body must be artifically kept alive...the person is no longer living...(harvesting an organ from a living person does not happen here unless someone is donating a kidney) Certain protocol is met, and brain death must be one of the criteria for organ donation. The organ is harvested for transplantation in the recepient. Time is of the essence in order to get the donated organ transplanted.

I guess a murder could take place, an organ harvested, but that would happen under certain conditions that were an episode of CSI. That would be morally wrong.

I guess the question to ask is: With the shortage of organs, would it be ethical for hospitals to undertreat patients who present in the er as potential organ donors?
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Post Number:#4  Postby captain_crunk » March 1st, 2007, 9:46 pm

Would it be ethical for a hospital to undertreat a patient? No.
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killing to save one's life

Post Number:#5  Postby sergioakaskyler » March 1st, 2007, 10:28 pm

If we are to approach matters with some regard to an idea of ethics, it seems unquestionable that the ultimate immoral action is to take someone's life.
In the absence of ethics, it may be possible to argue that not doing anything necessary to save one's own life (including and maybe especially taking someone else's life) would be the ultimate waste of existence, for ceasing to exist (or not prolonging this existence as long as possible before the next ETERNAL one) may have to come at some point, but there would be no reason not to prolong it as much as possible.
However, seein as how this is a forum topic on ethics, I will take the liberty to state that taking someone else's life is the most immoral action possible, for ending someone else's existence prevents them from any 'good' deeds, no matter how you may define 'good', as well as takes the most basic thing away from them: life.
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Post Number:#6  Postby Arvy » March 1st, 2007, 10:51 pm

Is it immoral to kill someone to save your own life?


It depends on the factors of the situation.

For example, if I would die unless I got a heart transplant, would it be immoral to kill someone for their heart?


The question sounds simple enough, but the answer is almost impossible to simplify. You must take into account an almost infinite amount of considerations. Under which ethical system are you considering this situation? Does the other person wish to donate his heart? Is he even alive, or capable (sane) enough to decide? Who decides if he isn't considered capable of choosing for himself? What if he is in a vegetative state? These and many other questions need to be answered, before the morality of the situation can be defined.

It seems like it wouldn't, but isn't it basically the same thing as defense?


No, it isn't basically the same thing as defense, unless the other person (the would-be donor) is in some way attacking you (did he cause you the heart damage?). So, by my ethical standards, it would be immoral if the donor doesn't in some way or another deserve to be killed. simple as that.
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Post Number:#7  Postby Bk2Kant » March 1st, 2007, 11:38 pm

Wow. Um I'm gonna have to say that I would be compelled to steal the heart becasue I think a lot of our base reaction to moral dillemas is brought out of self-intrest and preservation of life, but I do not think it would be moral. I could not will it that every person, or any person for that matter would kill to spare thier own life so I could not justify doing it myself. Ok now that I think about I understand the parallel to self-defense made. It's the decision to kill to preserve your own life even though it is not an instance where killing prevents someone from casuing your death. it would be more like sef defense if it were somthing like killing a bacteria that was compramising your life not a person that could help save it.
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Post Number:#8  Postby captain_crunk » March 2nd, 2007, 1:38 pm

I could not will it that every person, or any person for that matter would kill to spare thier own life so I could not justify doing it myself.


I see you're defnitely rocking Kant's deontological system of ethics to make your decision (as if it wasn't obvious you're a fan of Kant through your name here on the forums) :) Kant's system has always been one of my favorites in terms of ethics. Too bad I abhor the process of reading just about anything he's written. His writing style drives me nuts. :shock:
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Re: Killing someone to save your own life

Post Number:#9  Postby MyshiningOne » March 7th, 2007, 10:21 pm

cooltodd109 wrote:Is it immoral to kill someone to save your own life?

For example, if I would die unless I got a heart transplant, would it be immoral to kill someone for their heart?

It seems like it wouldn't, but isn't it basically the same thing as defense?


No it isn't. Defense occurs when a person attacks
someone who is trying to inflict harm on an innocent
individual through a heinous act such as murder
or rape. Self-defense is an attempt to protect
one's own rights or possessions. Of course,
there are arguments made
by people as to whether self-defense is a moral or
immoral act. It may not fit in the category
of moral behavior, but most people would not
consider self-defense to be an immoral act, even
if they do not believe in it themselves.

However, to kill someone in order to give someone
else a heart transplant is not an act of defense.
It is robbing an innocent being of his/her rights
so that someone else may live. Think of it this
way; if you had two young children, and one gets
sick and has to have a heart transplant in order to live, would you consent to the killing of your
other child so that the sick one may live?
Of course, there are different situations at play here. What if someone consented to the idea of
donating a heart to a sick person? If an eighty
year old man wanted to donate his heart to a young boy who had a little while to live, would
this act be unethical? It's a hard question to
answer. Of course, if a person does not consent
to his demise, then the act would be unethical.
It's not what you know that makes
you smart, it's knowing what you don't know.
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Post Number:#10  Postby Hacashu » March 9th, 2007, 6:08 pm

Killing is killing no matter how you look at it. Even if it is in "self defense" or in the case of a heart transplant. One person is deciding weather another has the right to live or not. That Idea would start going into free will. If anyone can take the life of another even in the case of self defense, than the person that was killed did not decide when he/she was going to die. The person that killed them did, because when it comes down to it, in any situation we have a choice to make about self defense. That would also put the person who claimed self defense as a "god" like figure, because he /she was deciding the fate of someone else. If in the case of an organ transplant, if the hospital had an organ, than you might recieve it and live, and if not than you should accept the fact that you are going to die and move on with everything else in your mind.
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Post Number:#11  Postby MyshiningOne » March 9th, 2007, 9:18 pm

captain_crunk wrote:
For example, if I would die unless I got a heart transplant, would it be immoral to kill someone for their heart?

It seems like it wouldn't, but isn't it basically the same thing as defense?


It seems like it wouldn't be immoral to kill an innocent person so you can selfishly take their heart from them?? Wow. I find it hard to believe that anyone can think like that.

In no way, shape, or form does this seem like the same thing as defense. Defense implies that you are at risk of harm due to actions taken against you by another person (or in some cases, albeit not this one, at risk due to the lack of action taken by another). That's not what's happening here.
So in my opinion, yes it would be very wrong to kill someone to save your own life, at least in the example given.


Can't disagree with you there.
It's not what you know that makes
you smart, it's knowing what you don't know.
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Post Number:#12  Postby cynicallyinsane » April 22nd, 2007, 12:36 am

Hacashu wrote:Killing is killing no matter how you look at it. Even if it is in "self defense" or in the case of a heart transplant. One person is deciding weather another has the right to live or not. That Idea would start going into free will. If anyone can take the life of another even in the case of self defense, than the person that was killed did not decide when he/she was going to die. The person that killed them did, because when it comes down to it, in any situation we have a choice to make about self defense. That would also put the person who claimed self defense as a "god" like figure, because he /she was deciding the fate of someone else. If in the case of an organ transplant, if the hospital had an organ, than you might recieve it and live, and if not than you should accept the fact that you are going to die and move on with everything else in your mind.

All killing isn't murder.
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Post Number:#13  Postby MyshiningOne » April 22nd, 2007, 12:38 am

I don't believe that self-defense is wrong, but killing someone to save your life is.
It's not what you know that makes
you smart, it's knowing what you don't know.
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Post Number:#14  Postby complimentarymatters » December 3rd, 2007, 11:09 pm

What about when the United States government dropped the atom bombs on cities full of civilians in Japan? It appears you are all saying that it was immoral.
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