Friday, 7 October 2005

Difficult decisions...

Read an article from "The Journal of Medicine and Philosophy" entitled "Rejecting the Baby Doe Rules and Defending a 'Negative' Analysis of the Best Interests Standard" by Kopelman. There are basically two standards for determining when it is best to end life support for infants with serious medical problems and the argument is that the "new" one is much less forgiving when it comes to situations concerning quality of life and that the old one give a little more freedom to the parents as well as the doctors when it comes to considering the suffering and difficulty an infant may go through. It's obviously a complicated and emotional issue and not one that has an easy answer. On the one hand life is precious and you don't what to leave the door open for abuse. But neither do you want to tie the hands of those faced with a decision no one wants to make but would probably make if they were in the situation themselves.

The only certain thing is that issues like this make it clear that the thing we all need to do, as individuals and as institutions, is to try to clarify our values. Clarification of all beliefs is important too, but when it comes to what we think is important, it is vital that we spend time thinking about them and how to deal with them in different situations. Our values really matter in life and too often we are faced with a problem for which we don't want the wrong solution. We have to be prepared. So go out there, sit down, and take some time to think about what you value and why and how and when and whatever.

Good luck!

5 comments:

andie said...

I think no matter how we try to define ourselves and establish these values, it all still depends on that moment that you have to make a choice like that. Life hasn't run out of tricks yet, and I don't think we actually have any way of preparing for them. What we have to do, at least, is try to be good so that when we encounter something like such, we'd make the right decision.

I've been reviewing for my Theology orals. Sorry.

stark said...

But you should try to understand what you think good (and truth and happiness and so on) is before you get into those situations. It's like going on a road trip. Who knows what will happen, but if you bring a first aid kit, some jumper cables, a blanket, some food and water, blah blah blah, you should be able to handle more than if you just jump in the car and drive.

But you're right. It really comes down to the moment and no one really knows how they'll deal with things when it really counts. We should. But we don't. That's what really bugs me about some people who are so sure and so critical of the reactions of others who have been forced to make a difficult decision. In all liklihood, they would make exactly the same decision that they are looking down on.

Dan said...

I don't know. A difficult decision can still be wrong, and should be criticized. Maybe, the decision can be corrected.

Dan said...

Oh. I forgot. Matt, I'm using part of your entry as a quote in my blog.

Regards.

stark said...

Yes, in any decision, one can make the wrong choice. Just trying to be good may not be enough for you to do good or make good choices. The more prepared you are, the easier it will to actually be good in the crunch.