Sacrificing for the greater good

Discussion in 'Health and Lifestyle' started by Avatar4321, Aug 5, 2006.

?

Sacrificing for the greater good?

  1. Letting someone die to or helping them do so

    1 vote(s)
    20.0%
  2. Risk/Allow many die instead

    4 vote(s)
    80.0%
  3. I have no clue what Id do

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. Avatar4321
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    Avatar4321 Diamond Member Gold Supporting Member

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    I had a rather disturbing thought while discussing HIV and AIDS on another board.

    You know how we have all these drugs now that will prolong the life of those who are infected with HIV. What if, because we created these drugs, we have inadvertantly provided more opportunity for people to be infected.

    Think about it. The Longer someone with HIV has their life prolonged the more they have opportunities to spread the disease to someone else.

    Have people seeking a way to prolong the life of others just ended up spreading the disease more?

    Disturbing I know. Especially since its probably true. The really disturbing part is the alternative which includes quicker, but still painful death for those infected. And honestly it disgusts me.

    Which of course brings me to the poll. If you had to choose to let someone die (or help them do so) or risk the chance of hundreds or thousands others die what would you do?
     
  2. Avatar4321
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    Avatar4321 Diamond Member Gold Supporting Member

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    I guess this is kind of like one of those "If you had the opportunity to kill Hitler in his youth knowing he would be responsible for the death of so many would take it to save them" type questions except we arent dealing with Hitler. we are dealing with potentially innocent people.
     
  3. Hobbit
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    Hobbit Senior Member

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    While I can't honestly say what I'd do, ethically you must give the sick the medicine. However, anyone who knows they're sick and engages in behavior that spreads the disease can and should be arrested for manslaughter.
     
  4. Nienna
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    Nienna Senior Member

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    Every life is sacred. If someone's life can be prolonged/ improved, it should be done. Perhaps, in the meantime, a cure could be found for the disease.

    I know that many could be infected by AIDS, but this is true of any infectuous disease. Our responsibility is to help or heal where we can.
     
  5. MissileMan
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    MissileMan Senior Member

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    This problem isn't restricted to HIV either. Modern medicine is allowing thousands of conditions, a lot of them genetic, to flourish instead of being flushed from the gene pool.
     
  6. pegwinn
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    pegwinn Top of the Food Chain

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    Take the risk.

    IF we begin to triage folks outside of a mass casualty situation, it is a short step to euthanasia. While euthanasia may be humane for a suffering animal, we only do it because the animal cannot communicate its' desires.

    Pretty soon we will be killing old folks who are no longer useful, or have alzheimer's and cannot function. Eventually, it'll spread to babies with incurable diseases, or genetic abnormalities.

    Now if the person is lucid and of age to make the call, then they should have the option of ending thier own life if they choose.
     
  7. Gem
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    Gem BANNED

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    In my opinion there is no other reasonable option for a society to do than allow the person to live while providing them with the education and resources to not spread the disease and while looking for a cure.

    If we engaged in the alternative - killing those infected or allowing them to kill themselves rather than risk infecting others, we enter a dangerous realm of killing someone based on a "potential" risk. Do we stop people with genital herpes from being allowed to date, marry, or procreate because of the heightened risk? Do we stop allowing diabetics to take insulin because they could pass the disease onto their children? We know that children of obese parents have a signficantly higher risk of being obsese themselves...we know what health conditions this will cause, the money this could cause our healthcare system, etc. Do we not allow overweight people to procreate based on this?

    There are situations where this would not work - if a person was infected with a disease that WOULD, WITHOUT QUESTION, infect and kill everyone who came into contact with him/her then allowing them to roam freely throughout society would not be permittable. However, if, as in the case of Diabetes or HIV/AIDs, it was treateable and/or could have precautions taken against it...I think we have to, as a civilized society, err on the rights of the individual.
     
  8. Avatar4321
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    Avatar4321 Diamond Member Gold Supporting Member

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    I agreee with everyone which is why i found the original thought a bit disturbing. But the question is sound.

    I just find it such a heartbreaking situation because its got to be the most easily avoided disease in the history of man.
     
  9. MissileMan
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    MissileMan Senior Member

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    Tell that to the people who got it through a transplant or blood transfusion or the babies being born with it.
     
  10. Gem
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    I don't think he was implying that all people had contracted the disease from their own actions, MissileMan...only that the majority of people infected (especially in the United States) have gotten the disease through unsafe sex and/or "safe" sex gone wrong or unsafe drug use.

    Now, children born to infected parents obviously did not do something to contract the disease...however that doesn't change the fact that millions upon millions contract the disease because they engaged in unsafe behaviors such as unprotected sex and/or drug use.

    Again, I don't think that Avatar was trying to say that ALL people who are HIV positive or have full-blown AIDS got it through their own actions...only that for adults in this day and age (now that we have blood screening and know more about its transmission) it is fairly easy NOT to contract HIV. It is unfortunate that we have hundreds or thousands becoming infected everyday for ANY reason...but it is especially sad that people are catching it due to ignorance or willfull ignoring of how to keep themselves safe.
     

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