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UAB / Philosophy / PHL 116 / What is the content of thompson’s thought experiments?

What is the content of thompson’s thought experiments?

What is the content of thompson’s thought experiments?

Description

Tarana Sidhu  


What is the content of thompson’s thought experiments?



Midterm Study Guide

Bioethics with Dr. Welch  

Roe V. Wade - 1973 Case  

Roe – woman looking for an abortion  

Texas – rules fetus is a person  

Supreme Court – against it  

3 Reasons:

1) Abortion was practiced in founding times

2) Problem with historical disagreement

3) Contemporary disagreement

States: can’t put burden in first trimester

can interfere in concern for maternal health in second trimester can interfere in access in third trimester

Marc & Thompson – status of fetus being a person does not matter

Thompson’s Thought Experiments  

1) The Violinist


What is the meaning of the right to life?



a. Person with a “right to life” does not equal to a right not to be  killed or a right to whatever you need to survive We also discuss several other topics like Who are the big names and their big ideas for the history of evolutionary thought?

b. Violinist hooked to person for ninth months to be able to survive c. Violinist does not have the right to a person’s body to survive  only if they give their body to him for his benefit  

Right to Life = right not to be killed unjustly. Abortion does not violate  Right To Life according to Thompson.  

2) People Seeds Float in Air Like Pollen – grown into people if it gets into  carpet or upholstered furniture  

- If you do x and know y and get y, still not consent

There are 2 types of consent:

Explicit Consent – stated consent  

Implicit Consent – assume consent. Rape leading to pregnancy still  doesn’t mean consent was there. Failed contraception, did not consent to  pregnancy.  


What are the two types of consent?



Don't forget about the age old question of What is the most important factor in the creation of minority group status?

Reflective Equilibrium  

- judgements in specific cases consistent with moral principles.

Thomson and Marquis have opposing views on Reflective  Equilibrium

- neither believe pregnancy by rape constitutes prohibition on  abortion  

- don’t care if baby/fetus is a person  

In Reflective Equilibrium

- must save as many lives as possible unless it involves killing - people are not dispensable for saving others

- when there’s an imbalance between moral principle and case, find a balance to reach reflective equilibrium or change your viewpoints

Thomson vs. Reflective Equilibrium

- Abortion is impermissible  

- We do not have extensive duties to help others

Marquis vs. Reflective Equilibrium  

- Abortion is permissible  

- It’s wrong to kill me because it deprives me of my future value

Person vs. Human

- person – a moral category

- human – associates with DNA  

- a person in ethics may not be human  

Marquis  

- killing painlessly does not serve as a defense  

- cannot kill even if victim has no friends or family  Don't forget about the age old question of What is the “criminogenic hypothesis” of crime?

- reason it’s wrong to kill me is because I have a FOV

o FOV (future of value) – activities, projects, experiments, and  enjoyments

o future does not have to be good to be valuable  

o example: FOV explains why a 5 y/o’s death has a greater  impact than elderly man’s death

 b/c FOV was taken away from 5 y/o while elderly man  We also discuss several other topics like Can elements and compounds be pure substances?

got to utilize his FOV in life

- his value explains that euthanasia is sometimes permissible, where  death is no longer harm for anyone

FOV

- depriving someone of a future of value = sufficient condition (a  guarantee) for wrongness of killing  

- anytime a FOV is deprived from someone, it is a “prima facie”  (seriously immoral)

- sufficient condition is a guarantee

- necessary condition is an imminent need

Fetus HAS a FOV

- ONLY okay to abort in terms of self-defense which is the same with  murder in some cases

- Abort fetus if the mother’s health is at risk in the process  - Abortion and euthanasia are okay if there is no potential FOV - Rape causing pregnancy isn’t sufficient reason to abort the fetus  though it’s traumatic  

- If fetus has a FOV, doesn’t matter how fetus came into existence  o whether it was rape or consensual sex  Don't forget about the age old question of What are the 10 great public health achievements?

Impersonal – decrease suffering, increasing happiness, meaning this  suffering should not be caused Don't forget about the age old question of What vacuole means?

Personal – don’t harm people  

Pence  

- ought not to harm children  

- ought to support artificial pregnancy if safe  

- if multiple births affect threaten the mother’s health, a few fetuses  should be aborted.  

o known as “selective reduction” – reduce pregnancies

Pence answers the question: “Are you morally obligated to sacrifice  some fetuses in order to save others?” (YES)

Parfit  

- Non-Identity Problem  

- Imagine pregnant woman with a condition.  

- Must take pill for 3 months for a healthy baby

- If not, the baby dies

- Wait 3 months so the baby born then is healthy

- Same person that was harmed DOES NOT EQUAL the person that  was benefitted

- Repugnant Conclusion:  

o If there were 10 people in the world with 5 units of happiness  each = 50 total units of happiness

o If there were 20 people in the world with 3 units of happiness  each = 60 total units of happiness

o If there were 70 people in the world with 1 unit of happiness  each = 70 total units of happiness

(Which of these 3 scenarios is best?)

- 70 people with 1 unit of happiness each. Always choose a world  with more, less happy people rather than less, but happier people

Asch

- genetic screening is encouraged because it’s possible to not  continue a pregnancy

- genetic counsellors should tell you about all resources available to  you if a disease, etc. has been found in the fetus.

- these are resources that you are legally entitled to  

- your decision should be well informed  

- not currently provided in genetic screening today

In arguing, there is no reason to think deaf parents are more selfish  and care less for their children.

Sparrow vs. Davis

- disagree on which value (autonomy or diversity) should be favored  when their values conflict  

- Davis favors autonomy and that it leads to diversity, believes its  irrelevant if deafness is a culture/disability

- Spencer favors diversity and that it leads to autonomy  

Davis  

- kid shouldn’t be deaf regardless  

- parents’ rights vs. child’s right to an open future

- against the idea of a deaf culture

Sparrow  

- deafness is a culture rather than a disability  

- supports the idea of deaf culture  

Liberal Societies value…

1) Autonomy  

- religious freedom when deciding the good life  

- free to decide to marry or to have kids or not

- you create what you believe to be a good life for yourself  

2) Diversity  

- have to make more autonomous choices  

- for greater variation  

Sparrow  

- (to Davis) “You have no good reason to call deafness a disability - You have good reason to call deafness a culture  

- We don’t have a good conception of disability

- Define disability to prove deafness is a disability  

- Any definition of a culture includes deafness as a culture. Deaf  individuals even share a language which could classify them  perfectly as a culture

Deaf Culture

- has less options than hearing culture, but those options are more valuable  

- In ethics, consider quality of opportunities, not quantity of  opportunity  

- can’t compare the two  

- hearing parents ought to be able to decide of deaf child gets  cochlear implants or not  

- parents have no time to learn sign language  

- with implants, a deaf child has to work hard in therapy to learn  spoken language as well as struggling with sign language while deaf - if implants are decided as a failure for the child, child has lost frame of sign language acquisition while having struggled with the spoken  language using implants that didn’t work out in the end

Sparrow

- govt. should not fund better research for cochlear implants - govt. should remain neutral in culture wars

- they should be involved if they don’t fund and they favor deaf  culture  

- if govt. funds better research, means they favor hearing culture

Davis  

- wrong for parents not to correct deafness

- need to correct it  

- parents need to preserve on open future for their children  - kids have freedom to decide their own good life

- if you limit your child’s opportunities, you’re violating their right to  an open future  

Kantian Principle  

- if you tell the truth, nothing really follows

Medical Paternalism V. Patient Autonomy  

Medical Paternalism

- doctors behaving as parents  

- doctors “know what’s best for you”

- reigned supreme until 1914

- doctors are only experts in health, not what you value  

Patient Autonomy  

- you are the expert in what you want  

- 4 cases:

1) Schloendorff v. New York Hospital (1914)  

a. Patient allowed to exploratory surgery

b. Tumor discovered in body and removed without consent  and knowledge of Schloendorff

c. Schloendorff sues – first case moving to patient autonomy  d. Doctor cannot touch you without your permission

e. Changed nature of surgeries

2) Salgo v. Leland (1957)

a. Salgo – patient

b. Leg became paralyzed after surgery  

c. Doctor knew and didn’t inform him it might happen

d. Birth of informed consent

3) Canterbury v. Spence (1972)

a. Canterbury arranged to have back surgery  

b. have to tell patient any risks there are so they can include  any risks in their decision  

c. Consent has to be reasonable  

d. What counts as reasonable?

4) Lane v. Condura (1978)  

a. Gangrene in foot  

b. Repealed decision to have her foot amputated

c. Daughter believed mother was mentally ill for opting to die rather than having foot amputated  

d. Daughter forcibly sued for mother

e. Court believes Lana is competent though she chooses  

death over n foot

f. Patient must be competent in their decisions  

g. What counts as competent?

John Stuart Mill  

- utilitarian, opposes Kantian Principle

- “The only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over an  individual against his will is to prevent harm to other. His own good, whether  physical or moral, or sufficient.”

Greatest Happiness Principle (Mill)

The right action is that which produces the greatest happiness.  a. People are happy when they get to do what they want with the  liberty to do so.

b. The freer you leave people the more information and choices you  give to people that are still deciding.  

Liberty is good when its only promoting happiness regardless of means  

Realm of Liberty  

No interference allowed with these three actions:  

1) Self-Affecting  

a. what does not affect others  

b. free thought

i. allowed to have your own ideas

ii. think what you want to think

2) Affect others only indirectly  

a. ex. suicide

b. almost everything you do affects others indirectly

3) Harm others with their consent

a. Known as volenti non fit injuria  

i. if you consent to harm, it is not a harm  

Equipose

- be equally positioned between outcomes  

- be genuinely uncertain about the outcome of a study  

- cannot do research for fun  

- genuine uncertainty about the answer exists  

- there must exist a question that will have an answer only through  research  

- no research is allowed if you already know an obvious answer to  something

o because this puts people at an unnecessary risk for answers  that are already in place

Equivalency Study (Pregnant American Women)  

Experimented: Shortened AZT

Control: AZT

Placebo Study (Pregnant Thai Women)

Experiment: Shortened AZT

Control: AZT

- Participants gave informed consent  

- Mothers instantly consent to western doctors with a perceived  authority figure  

AZT

- seek routine prenatal care very early in pregnancy  

- expensive especially when run in third world countries - drug significantly reduces the risk of HIV being transmitted from  mother to child (vertical transmission)

-

Equivalency  

- find drug cheaper and equivalent to AZT by using two groups o Experimental (gets AZT) & Control Group (gets nothing) Concerns

- American doctors conducting research have easy access to AZT  which cuts HIV transmission by 67%

- mothers without medicine died and their children contracted HIV

- the answer was known for the Placebo Study, not for the  Equivalency Study  

- Placebo Study should not have been run  

- People died who didn’t have to die  

Question was: How much better is some AZT than none? - This creates equipoise

- A question is truly being asked because the answer is uncertain  - there is a position between outcomes  

If the question is “is some AZT better than none?”

- The answer is yes, it’s obviously known  

- No equipoise  

- No equipoise = no research

- Therefore the trial shouldn’t be and shouldn’t have been run  

Singer  

- not an abolitionist of meat eating  

- first and full moral of humans consideration in U.S – white males  - racism – arbitrary preference for one race  

- male of any color was then considered

- sexism – sex is just a biological factor  

- any human then became a consideration  

- speciesism – arbitrary preference for one species over another   “There is no characteristic such that all and only humans have it” - Not all humans have intellect and rationality while some animals do. - Sentience – capability of suffering  

“No moral defense to disregard suffering of any creature”

Principle of Equality (Singer)  

- like interests should receive like consideration  

- not equality when it comes to 3 y/o kids getting to vote as well as  adults, for example, but everybody gets equal treatment  

3 Types of Interests  

1) Basic – necessities / survival  

a. most important  

2) Serious – determine quality of life  

a. ex. college education or not  

3) Trivial – can live without them  

a. should be sacrificed last  

b. does not affect your quality of life  

- For example, if you have a trivial interest in eating pig, pig’s basic  and serious interests to live are violated in order to satisfy your  trivial interest.

- If you have two choices, always pick the choice that had less  suffering involved

o for example, avoid meat if possible and opt for something  vegetarian  

Animal Research  

- only okay in benefitting the basic interests of others  

- ex. finding a cure for people with cancer  

o necessary because people have a basic interest to overcome  cancer and survive

Tarana Sidhu  

Midterm Study Guide

Bioethics with Dr. Welch  

Roe V. Wade - 1973 Case  

Roe – woman looking for an abortion  

Texas – rules fetus is a person  

Supreme Court – against it  

3 Reasons:

1) Abortion was practiced in founding times

2) Problem with historical disagreement

3) Contemporary disagreement

States: can’t put burden in first trimester

can interfere in concern for maternal health in second trimester can interfere in access in third trimester

Marc & Thompson – status of fetus being a person does not matter

Thompson’s Thought Experiments  

1) The Violinist

a. Person with a “right to life” does not equal to a right not to be  killed or a right to whatever you need to survive

b. Violinist hooked to person for ninth months to be able to survive c. Violinist does not have the right to a person’s body to survive  only if they give their body to him for his benefit  

Right to Life = right not to be killed unjustly. Abortion does not violate  Right To Life according to Thompson.  

2) People Seeds Float in Air Like Pollen – grown into people if it gets into  carpet or upholstered furniture  

- If you do x and know y and get y, still not consent

There are 2 types of consent:

Explicit Consent – stated consent  

Implicit Consent – assume consent. Rape leading to pregnancy still  doesn’t mean consent was there. Failed contraception, did not consent to  pregnancy.  

Reflective Equilibrium  

- judgements in specific cases consistent with moral principles.

Thomson and Marquis have opposing views on Reflective  Equilibrium

- neither believe pregnancy by rape constitutes prohibition on  abortion  

- don’t care if baby/fetus is a person  

In Reflective Equilibrium

- must save as many lives as possible unless it involves killing - people are not dispensable for saving others

- when there’s an imbalance between moral principle and case, find a balance to reach reflective equilibrium or change your viewpoints

Thomson vs. Reflective Equilibrium

- Abortion is impermissible  

- We do not have extensive duties to help others

Marquis vs. Reflective Equilibrium  

- Abortion is permissible  

- It’s wrong to kill me because it deprives me of my future value

Person vs. Human

- person – a moral category

- human – associates with DNA  

- a person in ethics may not be human  

Marquis  

- killing painlessly does not serve as a defense  

- cannot kill even if victim has no friends or family  

- reason it’s wrong to kill me is because I have a FOV

o FOV (future of value) – activities, projects, experiments, and  enjoyments

o future does not have to be good to be valuable  

o example: FOV explains why a 5 y/o’s death has a greater  impact than elderly man’s death

 b/c FOV was taken away from 5 y/o while elderly man  

got to utilize his FOV in life

- his value explains that euthanasia is sometimes permissible, where  death is no longer harm for anyone

FOV

- depriving someone of a future of value = sufficient condition (a  guarantee) for wrongness of killing  

- anytime a FOV is deprived from someone, it is a “prima facie”  (seriously immoral)

- sufficient condition is a guarantee

- necessary condition is an imminent need

Fetus HAS a FOV

- ONLY okay to abort in terms of self-defense which is the same with  murder in some cases

- Abort fetus if the mother’s health is at risk in the process  - Abortion and euthanasia are okay if there is no potential FOV - Rape causing pregnancy isn’t sufficient reason to abort the fetus  though it’s traumatic  

- If fetus has a FOV, doesn’t matter how fetus came into existence  o whether it was rape or consensual sex  

Impersonal – decrease suffering, increasing happiness, meaning this  suffering should not be caused

Personal – don’t harm people  

Pence  

- ought not to harm children  

- ought to support artificial pregnancy if safe  

- if multiple births affect threaten the mother’s health, a few fetuses  should be aborted.  

o known as “selective reduction” – reduce pregnancies

Pence answers the question: “Are you morally obligated to sacrifice  some fetuses in order to save others?” (YES)

Parfit  

- Non-Identity Problem  

- Imagine pregnant woman with a condition.  

- Must take pill for 3 months for a healthy baby

- If not, the baby dies

- Wait 3 months so the baby born then is healthy

- Same person that was harmed DOES NOT EQUAL the person that  was benefitted

- Repugnant Conclusion:  

o If there were 10 people in the world with 5 units of happiness  each = 50 total units of happiness

o If there were 20 people in the world with 3 units of happiness  each = 60 total units of happiness

o If there were 70 people in the world with 1 unit of happiness  each = 70 total units of happiness

(Which of these 3 scenarios is best?)

- 70 people with 1 unit of happiness each. Always choose a world  with more, less happy people rather than less, but happier people

Asch

- genetic screening is encouraged because it’s possible to not  continue a pregnancy

- genetic counsellors should tell you about all resources available to  you if a disease, etc. has been found in the fetus.

- these are resources that you are legally entitled to  

- your decision should be well informed  

- not currently provided in genetic screening today

In arguing, there is no reason to think deaf parents are more selfish  and care less for their children.

Sparrow vs. Davis

- disagree on which value (autonomy or diversity) should be favored  when their values conflict  

- Davis favors autonomy and that it leads to diversity, believes its  irrelevant if deafness is a culture/disability

- Spencer favors diversity and that it leads to autonomy  

Davis  

- kid shouldn’t be deaf regardless  

- parents’ rights vs. child’s right to an open future

- against the idea of a deaf culture

Sparrow  

- deafness is a culture rather than a disability  

- supports the idea of deaf culture  

Liberal Societies value…

1) Autonomy  

- religious freedom when deciding the good life  

- free to decide to marry or to have kids or not

- you create what you believe to be a good life for yourself  

2) Diversity  

- have to make more autonomous choices  

- for greater variation  

Sparrow  

- (to Davis) “You have no good reason to call deafness a disability - You have good reason to call deafness a culture  

- We don’t have a good conception of disability

- Define disability to prove deafness is a disability  

- Any definition of a culture includes deafness as a culture. Deaf  individuals even share a language which could classify them  perfectly as a culture

Deaf Culture

- has less options than hearing culture, but those options are more valuable  

- In ethics, consider quality of opportunities, not quantity of  opportunity  

- can’t compare the two  

- hearing parents ought to be able to decide of deaf child gets  cochlear implants or not  

- parents have no time to learn sign language  

- with implants, a deaf child has to work hard in therapy to learn  spoken language as well as struggling with sign language while deaf - if implants are decided as a failure for the child, child has lost frame of sign language acquisition while having struggled with the spoken  language using implants that didn’t work out in the end

Sparrow

- govt. should not fund better research for cochlear implants - govt. should remain neutral in culture wars

- they should be involved if they don’t fund and they favor deaf  culture  

- if govt. funds better research, means they favor hearing culture

Davis  

- wrong for parents not to correct deafness

- need to correct it  

- parents need to preserve on open future for their children  - kids have freedom to decide their own good life

- if you limit your child’s opportunities, you’re violating their right to  an open future  

Kantian Principle  

- if you tell the truth, nothing really follows

Medical Paternalism V. Patient Autonomy  

Medical Paternalism

- doctors behaving as parents  

- doctors “know what’s best for you”

- reigned supreme until 1914

- doctors are only experts in health, not what you value  

Patient Autonomy  

- you are the expert in what you want  

- 4 cases:

1) Schloendorff v. New York Hospital (1914)  

a. Patient allowed to exploratory surgery

b. Tumor discovered in body and removed without consent  and knowledge of Schloendorff

c. Schloendorff sues – first case moving to patient autonomy  d. Doctor cannot touch you without your permission

e. Changed nature of surgeries

2) Salgo v. Leland (1957)

a. Salgo – patient

b. Leg became paralyzed after surgery  

c. Doctor knew and didn’t inform him it might happen

d. Birth of informed consent

3) Canterbury v. Spence (1972)

a. Canterbury arranged to have back surgery  

b. have to tell patient any risks there are so they can include  any risks in their decision  

c. Consent has to be reasonable  

d. What counts as reasonable?

4) Lane v. Condura (1978)  

a. Gangrene in foot  

b. Repealed decision to have her foot amputated

c. Daughter believed mother was mentally ill for opting to die rather than having foot amputated  

d. Daughter forcibly sued for mother

e. Court believes Lana is competent though she chooses  

death over n foot

f. Patient must be competent in their decisions  

g. What counts as competent?

John Stuart Mill  

- utilitarian, opposes Kantian Principle

- “The only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over an  individual against his will is to prevent harm to other. His own good, whether  physical or moral, or sufficient.”

Greatest Happiness Principle (Mill)

The right action is that which produces the greatest happiness.  a. People are happy when they get to do what they want with the  liberty to do so.

b. The freer you leave people the more information and choices you  give to people that are still deciding.  

Liberty is good when its only promoting happiness regardless of means  

Realm of Liberty  

No interference allowed with these three actions:  

1) Self-Affecting  

a. what does not affect others  

b. free thought

i. allowed to have your own ideas

ii. think what you want to think

2) Affect others only indirectly  

a. ex. suicide

b. almost everything you do affects others indirectly

3) Harm others with their consent

a. Known as volenti non fit injuria  

i. if you consent to harm, it is not a harm  

Equipose

- be equally positioned between outcomes  

- be genuinely uncertain about the outcome of a study  

- cannot do research for fun  

- genuine uncertainty about the answer exists  

- there must exist a question that will have an answer only through  research  

- no research is allowed if you already know an obvious answer to  something

o because this puts people at an unnecessary risk for answers  that are already in place

Equivalency Study (Pregnant American Women)  

Experimented: Shortened AZT

Control: AZT

Placebo Study (Pregnant Thai Women)

Experiment: Shortened AZT

Control: AZT

- Participants gave informed consent  

- Mothers instantly consent to western doctors with a perceived  authority figure  

AZT

- seek routine prenatal care very early in pregnancy  

- expensive especially when run in third world countries - drug significantly reduces the risk of HIV being transmitted from  mother to child (vertical transmission)

-

Equivalency  

- find drug cheaper and equivalent to AZT by using two groups o Experimental (gets AZT) & Control Group (gets nothing) Concerns

- American doctors conducting research have easy access to AZT  which cuts HIV transmission by 67%

- mothers without medicine died and their children contracted HIV

- the answer was known for the Placebo Study, not for the  Equivalency Study  

- Placebo Study should not have been run  

- People died who didn’t have to die  

Question was: How much better is some AZT than none? - This creates equipoise

- A question is truly being asked because the answer is uncertain  - there is a position between outcomes  

If the question is “is some AZT better than none?”

- The answer is yes, it’s obviously known  

- No equipoise  

- No equipoise = no research

- Therefore the trial shouldn’t be and shouldn’t have been run  

Singer  

- not an abolitionist of meat eating  

- first and full moral of humans consideration in U.S – white males  - racism – arbitrary preference for one race  

- male of any color was then considered

- sexism – sex is just a biological factor  

- any human then became a consideration  

- speciesism – arbitrary preference for one species over another   “There is no characteristic such that all and only humans have it” - Not all humans have intellect and rationality while some animals do. - Sentience – capability of suffering  

“No moral defense to disregard suffering of any creature”

Principle of Equality (Singer)  

- like interests should receive like consideration  

- not equality when it comes to 3 y/o kids getting to vote as well as  adults, for example, but everybody gets equal treatment  

3 Types of Interests  

1) Basic – necessities / survival  

a. most important  

2) Serious – determine quality of life  

a. ex. college education or not  

3) Trivial – can live without them  

a. should be sacrificed last  

b. does not affect your quality of life  

- For example, if you have a trivial interest in eating pig, pig’s basic  and serious interests to live are violated in order to satisfy your  trivial interest.

- If you have two choices, always pick the choice that had less  suffering involved

o for example, avoid meat if possible and opt for something  vegetarian  

Animal Research  

- only okay in benefitting the basic interests of others  

- ex. finding a cure for people with cancer  

o necessary because people have a basic interest to overcome  cancer and survive

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