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A Challenge for All Critical Thinkers - The Soldier - JOHD

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Jun 9th, 2003


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11:15 - A Challenge for All Critical Thinkers - The Soldier
The following is a situation that I was asked to think about in class today, and I offer this same challenge, with my own questions added in the end.

As with anyone who is truly a thinker, you must think outside the box, and put yourself in a situation that you have never been in before, even if you have been in it before, since you are thinking in the mind of this person in question and the dilemma that the person faces.

(This was taken from a book on an actual event that happened, and the outcome shall be discussed later when I give plenty of critical thinkers enough time to ponder the moral dilemma and also when I have more time to go over it)

You are a soldier for the US army (about 21 - 23 in age).  There have been many slain in this war, and you are out and about attempting to secure the area.  You come to a place you suspect has hiding enemies, so you lob in a grenade and later investigate that the place you thought was a base is actually a shelter where a family was hiding in.  You have killed most of the family, minus the mother (who is basically unharmed) and a small 3 year old boy.  The problem is, that while the boy is currently alive, the grenade has taken an arm off and he is bleeding profoundly.  You have no training in anything medical, and the nearest medical team or specialist(s) are no where close to your location.  It boils down to this... given the situation at hand, the inevitable is doing nothing the boy *will* die.  You happen to have a bunch of morphine.  You realize you could give the boy an overdose of morphine, and this in turn would end up you killing the boy but the boy would die a rather painless death.  So what do you do?

Do you do nothing for the boy and allow him to die or do you give an overdose to the boy and kill him off painlessly? Or, is there something else you attempt to do(you are a soldier and of course have a gun you could finish him off with)? What is the reason that you take this path, and do you feel that doing the opposite, or something different, would be considered wrong/evil/immoral/etc?

After you answer that question in your mind, think on this.

Would you think this same way if you had a child who was of same age and gender?  If you change your answer, what made you do so, and include into your account the same feeling of what you declined as wrong?

(in the event you actually are familiar with this story of have read the book the facts are based from, please refrain from posting at this time but waiting for the follow-up).
Current Mood: exhaustedexhausted
Current Music: "Boss Music" - SoR2

[[10 comments | Train your Brain]]

Comments:


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From:madd74
Date:Jun 9th, 2003 10:08 (UTC)

WOW that was fast...

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My word, I had not even finished my other post, hahaha.

Question is... what is your reason to do so, especially since you ADDED the fact you would to your own kid, and do you see letting him live as a bad or immoral thing to do?
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
From:madd74
Date:Jul 5th, 2003 16:02 (UTC)

Re: WOW that was fast...

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If you were this soilder, you would have actually saved his life. Had you not given him the morphine, in the situation presented, he would have died, and would have in a painful manner. What happened was this... the morphine given was old and outdated... so much so that it was not as powerful as it should have been... it put the child into a coma, and slowed down his body to a point that when help arrived many hours later, they were able to take care of him.
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From:darealmillah
Date:Jun 9th, 2003 10:11 (UTC)
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ill have to go with the morphine, especially since neither I nor the mother have any knowledge of how to save the boy. It'd be the least I could do for being the one to sentence him to his death...
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From:madd74
Date:Jul 5th, 2003 16:03 (UTC)
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If you were this soilder, you would have actually saved his life. Had you not given him the morphine, in the situation presented, he would have died, and would have in a painful manner. What happened was this... the morphine given was old and outdated... so much so that it was not as powerful as it should have been... it put the child into a coma, and slowed down his body to a point that when help arrived many hours later, they were able to take care of him.
[User Picture]
From:jacylane
Date:Jun 9th, 2003 13:37 (UTC)
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You're sure he will die?
How can you be absolutely sure?
How could I be absolutely sure in that situation? (Being that I'm putting myself into a situation I've never been in before.)

I'd apply pressure to pressure points...attempt to stop/slow the bleeding..and pray.

But..

...if that's not a choice...

I don't think I'd give the morphine. There's always that slim chance he could survive.

Is this taken from an argument for/against doctor-assisted suicide?
[User Picture]
From:madd74
Date:Jul 5th, 2003 16:06 (UTC)
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In the situation that was there, the boy was wonded bad enough that death would have happened had nothing been done. However, if you read what happened (I posted the actual outcome to others) you see that in attempts to KILL the boy his life was saved. Apply pressure points? His whole arm is gone... there is nothing you could have done to stop the bleeding minus the "miricle" that actually ended up happening from the morphine. So the slim chance to survive you talk about comes from the morphine not doing it's job because it is out of date, and was so drastically.

This is taken from a book on war stories or something like that the teacher from my final (i hope) class read to us about.

My answer was if I was the boy, and what happened happened, I would have given the morphine.
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From:ditzwill
Date:Jun 11th, 2003 11:14 (UTC)
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Since I have no medical knowledge, I would wrap the wound as tightly as I could and then the mother and I would head in the direction of the nearest medical team. Even if they weren't anywhere near my location, that would be the most logical choice for me. Whether or not the death appeared to be imminent and painful, I have faith in God and if that boy were supposed to be saved in anyway then he would be and I would do my best to make it possible. It's not my choice to end anyone's life. I would make this same decision if I had children and if it were my child. Always fight to preserve life.
[User Picture]
From:madd74
Date:Jul 5th, 2003 16:10 (UTC)
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The nearest medical team was hours away... no matter how you wrapped it, the condition the child was in was bad enough that to do nothing but carry and attempt to stop the bleeding externally would have meant his death. The actual answer to this has been posted for others to see. The other problem was, the soilder, being US, did not speak the same language as the mother, and realize, it was the soilder who threw the granade in. That was bound to cause some issues as well.

I realize it is not my choice to end anyone's life either, however, in a case like this, if someone is going to "die", I would to the other what I would want in return. I would want the morphine given to me if I was that child. If that was done, oddly enough, my life would have some how been saved. Meaning, it WAS God's will that the child live.
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From:sewcute
Date:Jun 12th, 2003 04:35 (UTC)
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I guess I would ask the mother. . .but I think her preference, but this is based on my preference, would be the quickest least painful death. (but I suppose that is not one of my options, since this is most likely a close ended question)

And I do not care about the age or sex of the child. That would not make a difference to me.

Hmm this is something that I will most likely ponder all day. . .and think about it in terms of children that I know. I just know that if it were any of "my" kids at the daycare, I would not want to see them in pain, but its not just "my" kids. . .I do not like to see people in pain, especially if there is something I can do about it.

So yes. . .I would most likely kill the child ASAP. This prolly goes against the christian morals (thou shalt not kill). And as of right now, I do not have an "excuse" for it.

I think for now. . .those are all my thoughts on that. . .
[User Picture]
From:madd74
Date:Jul 5th, 2003 16:12 (UTC)
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You would not be able to ask the mother... she does not speak anything close to a language you know (I realize I did not state that at first, and that is my error). The age or sex is not an issue for you and people who think on your lines... it is for those (or to see) who do not. In the situation the soilder had, he did not have all day. That is the point of these thought experiements.

However, in your ending comment, your attempt to kill the kid, as happened to this soilder, would have ended up saving his life, as stated for the above reasons.

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