Anonymous asked in Arts & HumanitiesPhilosophy · 1 decade ago

An interesting Morality question?

I was just watching a House episode. It had a president of an African country who was in the act of performing genocide on the Sitibi of his country. Basically if he recovered he would go on in his attempt to wipe out a race of 2 million people. So by the end of the shows one of the doctors on there ends up giving the wrong test on purpose and the president died because of it.

So my question is, is it ever justified to kill? Would you have killed that person to save the two million or would you have done what is expected of doctors and saved your patient?

My opinion is that the man was slime and definitely did not deserve to live. But Hippocrates's Oath is not to be taken lightly. What I would have done is refused to treat him. I would have not treated him but a doctor in my opinion can never kill a patient no matter what.

What do you think? Is killing ever justified? Not just this situation but is it ever justified?


To answer All Hat's question, in the show he had an international civil lawsuit brought against him because he was in the United States to visit his son in college. However he could just have ignored it, gone back to his country and been untouchable without a full out war. He was the President of his country. he was the law

5 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    yeah i would have refused to treat him too. i also watched that episode. but really what i wonder is if that theoretical death of a character in that show even really stopped that genocide. would not that character's allies who thought the same as him carry on his wishes after he was gone? just because you cut the head off a snake does not mean that two will not grow back like the hydra of myth.

    killing while never right is understandable in certain situations. justification is just us humans rationalizing what is irrational. death is the ultimate irrational thing because we cannot fully understand it. one minute they are here the next minute just their body is left. more of a spiritual thing than a rational one.

  • 1 decade ago

    I think 90% of that question or more is solved for us by following the law. Law has been dealing with killing since law began. There are many, many times when killing is legal, even mandatory. So if we're under that umbrella, say shooting an armed robbery suspect as he holds a hostage, then fack him, we're ok. In fact we're doing the right thing. But the greatest majority of why it's ok is that the law says so.

    Were we to kill outside the law it still MIGHT be ok, but I can't really think of an instance that law wouldn't ultimately condone - in this case, a doctor would be cheating to kill this man, however evil he is. However, where is the law that should snap up this genocidal criminal? Still, one thing doesn't justify the other.

  • 1 decade ago

    No, the means should never justify the ends with violence. If man is allowed to violently or neglectfully kill patients that are in trusted care, where does it end; military, police, are there for a reason to protect and serve hopefully without violence, but for a doctor to cross over into military or police territory that of violent means for protection in service to society and nation, need not be the case.

    Source(s): Martin Luther King Jr "Strength to love"
  • 1 decade ago

    I would never willingly or intentionally kill an innocent person. If I strongly believed that a person deserved to die, if it was within my power, if I was very certain, and if the consequences that I might suffer as a result were worth it to me, I would have no problem killing that person, were I a doctor or no.

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  • Shen
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    The definition of existentialism I heard once was;

    Breaking the pattern to achieve the purpose.

    I think this case would fall under that category.

    Source(s): That one day I for some godforsaken reason paid attention in Philosophy class.
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