Author Topic: Ethical Question - Robert Latimer case?  (Read 200 times)

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Offline Desert Fox

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Ethical Question - Robert Latimer case?
« on: July 13, 2018, 03:57:16 PM »
For a bit of context, here is n article about it

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/latimer-pardon-murder-justice-1.4743353

Put in simple terms, he is a farmer in Canada who had a daughter who had cerebral palsy. I am not sure of her mental capacity but she appears to have been severely disabled and unable to communicate. She was also unable to take pain killers apparently.

He decided that she was in too much pain, put her in his truck, and killed her with carbon monoxide. He feels he did the right think in killing her.

Discussions on the morality of what he did?

Much of the arguments against him seem to be centered around her not able to consent. When I put my dogs to sleep because they were in pain / very ill, they did not consent either. On the other side, if I was unable to communicate and even move, I would not want to be kept alive either. Locked in like that seems to be a good way to go insane.
"Give me the storm and tempest of thought and action, rather than the dead calm of ignorance and faith. Banish me from Eden when you will; but first let me eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge."
— Robert G. Ingersoll

Offline Friendly Angel

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Re: Ethical Question - Robert Latimer case?
« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2018, 04:09:24 PM »
I think there ought to be a way to do this above the law; transparently, and safely.

It's quite possible that this was an act of genuine compassion, but without oversight and review I don't know that we can say it was ethical.
Amend and resubmit.

Online Harry Black

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Re: Ethical Question - Robert Latimer case?
« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2018, 05:30:05 PM »
Dogs are fundamentally incapable of consent. Humans are not.

I think it was unethical because he was using his own subjective judgement which is severely prone to bias given his position.
Something like this should really be decided upon with the input of a medical panel in my opinion.

Offline John Albert

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Re: Ethical Question - Robert Latimer case?
« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2018, 05:35:02 PM »
Unconscionable.

I wouldn't think he has the legal right to make that decision on his daughter's behalf unless she granted him that right in the form of a living will. Even besides that, acting without medical advice ought to be illegal.

Offline Desert Fox

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Re: Ethical Question - Robert Latimer case?
« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2018, 06:00:56 PM »
Dogs are fundamentally incapable of consent. Humans are not.

I think it was unethical because he was using his own subjective judgement which is severely prone to bias given his position.
Something like this should really be decided upon with the input of a medical panel in my opinion.

As far as I have been able to tell, she was fundamentally unable to give her consent as well.
I do understand that maybe there should be a way of petitioning a medical panel however. 
"Give me the storm and tempest of thought and action, rather than the dead calm of ignorance and faith. Banish me from Eden when you will; but first let me eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge."
— Robert G. Ingersoll

Online Harry Black

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Re: Ethical Question - Robert Latimer case?
« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2018, 06:34:09 PM »
The point is not whether or not SHE was unable to give consent. Its whether some humans vs any dogs can give consent.
The answer to that is clearly that some humans can but no dogs can, so a different standard must apply.
A human who loses the ability to do a thing we consider normal should not be relegated to the same rights status as an animal with similar ability.

Offline Desert Fox

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Re: Ethical Question - Robert Latimer case?
« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2018, 06:38:09 PM »
Is this also your position on the Terri Schiavo case?
I don't seem them as all that different except one is an active participation and the other is passive.

Edit: I should say that I am not sure if he did the right thing but not sure it is the wrong thing either. Kind of caught in a half way point.
« Last Edit: July 13, 2018, 06:45:13 PM by Desert Fox »
"Give me the storm and tempest of thought and action, rather than the dead calm of ignorance and faith. Banish me from Eden when you will; but first let me eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge."
— Robert G. Ingersoll

Online Harry Black

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Re: Ethical Question - Robert Latimer case?
« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2018, 06:51:03 PM »
I dont know about that case. You seem to allude to some sort of consent?

But in this case, the father (from what information I have) seems to have decided for himself that she was suffering too much. And again, he has many pressures which may help him to be biased toward this position, including perhaps his own personal philosophy.

So I dont think something like this should involve only one person who is also a care giver with such a deep emotional attachment.
Ideally another parent at least would be involved, but preferably some sort of medical opinion if available.

If he was stuck in a bad situation on his own and was denied such help (for legal reasons etc) then I am sympathetic that he had to make a decision one way or the other.

I dont consider it ethical, but I dont necessarily consider it 'wrong' depending on many variables.

Offline Desert Fox

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Re: Ethical Question - Robert Latimer case?
« Reply #8 on: July 14, 2018, 05:59:36 AM »
My understanding from another discussion is if the mother did not give consent, she approved of the action afterwards stating that their daughter is no longer suffering.

Edit: This is the Terri Schiavo case.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terri_Schiavo_case

If you were in the US during the early 2000s, it was a pretty famous case
« Last Edit: July 14, 2018, 06:24:30 AM by Desert Fox »
"Give me the storm and tempest of thought and action, rather than the dead calm of ignorance and faith. Banish me from Eden when you will; but first let me eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge."
— Robert G. Ingersoll

 

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