Duty Of Others And Ourselves

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Zuleema Isaac December 5th, 2015 PHIL 140: Final Paper Duty to Others and Ourselves Does maturity happen overnight? In other words, can one go to sleep a knucklehead and wake up a sage? That is what the public defender argued in his case against the state of Connecticut. But is the topic of maturity really a deciding factor on whether we allow someone to indirectly kill him or herself? Do we not have a duty to protect those who may be harming themselves? In this case, Cassandra C., a 17-year-old minor of Connecticut, was faced with charges after resisting chemotherapy treatment for her diagnosis of Hodgkin Lymphoma. She was forced to stay in the hospital under the order of the court and restrained to her bed during her treatments due to the intensity of her disapproval. Her mother, Jackie Fortin, was, in some of the doctor’s opinions, more rejecting of her daughter receiving treatment than Cassandra herself was despite the favorable post-chemotherapy odds. The state, in this case, was morally justified for forcing Cassandra to undergo treatment according under deontological ethics. In the words of Dr. Saskia Nagel, “anatomy should not be viewed as an all-or-none phenomenon” (Nagel). However, one would question the maturity or mental health of Cassandra by her outright choosing death instead of a chance at a healthier life. Under no conditions should an adolescent, or anyone for that matter, be able to refuse medical treatment. It is not an easy thing to know you are

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