Define Capital punishment. Evaluate Retributive, Utilitarian and Restitution theory of punishment.


Leroy died suddenly, leaving behind him Margret, his wife, who was suffering from atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) of the brain, for whom he had cared devotedly because she was practically an invalid. In his will, he left his substantial estate to her, to go upon her death to his side of the family. He had actually earned all the money because Margret had never gone to work. Margret’s sister, Anne, and her husband Eric an attorney agreed to take care of her, putting her into a skilled nursing facility near their home for which all expenses were paid from Leroy’s estate. While she was still alive, they changed Margret’s will, splitting the estate 40/60 in favor of her side of the family. They had a doctor certify that she was mentally competent to make such a change, but Leroy’s family, who had visited her, noticed that she was capable of very little in the way of decision-making. As longtime friend of Anne and Eric, they had trusted them not to do anything improper. When they learned that Anne and Eric had changed Leroy’s will under what they felt to be very shady circumstances, they accused them of stealing.

Do you believe that what Anne and Eric did was theft? Why or why not? If they felt their side of family had been wronged, was there anything that Anne and Eric could have done differently to rectify the problem?
2. A psychologist wants to videotape some of his patients during their therapy sessions, partly as a study he is doing and partly as a teaching device for advanced psychology students. He feels that if the patients know they are being taped, they won’t act naturally, which will both taint his study and diminish the film’s value as a teaching device. For this reason, he feels that the patients should not know that they are being taped even though what they do or say on the tape may reveal certain aspects of their private feelings and lives.

What should the psychologist do? Should he tell the patients he is taping them, or should he just go ahead and tape without their permission, assuming that he is just going to use the tapes for his own research and as a teaching device? Are there any other alternatives you can think of for the psychologist to follow?
3. Laura, a 19 years old woman, fell into a coma because of an overdose of drugs and alcohol. She was given emergency treatment at a hospital and was placed on a respirator, which stabilized her breathing. She remained in a deep coma, and when she was tested by neurologists; and neurosurgeons it was discovered that about 70 percent of her brain was irretrievably damaged. She was not brain dead, however: she reacted to pain, her eyes sometimes would open and her pupils contract, she would at times thrash about and her EEG showed some brain activity. She was in a PVS. Because she could not be pronounced dead in any medical or legal sense, the hospital and doctors refused to take her off the respirator or to stop any other treatments they were giving her. At one point Laura’s sister was alone in the room with her and, thinking that Laura wouldn’t want to live on in this way, she disconnected the respirator and caused her sister death.
Discuss in detail your reactions to the sister’s decision.
4. Leonard 25, and Rachel 23, discovered that they are Tay-Sachs carriers after Rachel has become pregnant, and the doctor informs that they have a one-in-four chance of bearing a Tay-Sachs child. Tay-Sachs is a fatal disease that is both degenerative and particularly horrible. They decided to wait until the fourth month of Rachel’s pregnancy to have an amniocentesis performed. The results, which they received in Rachel’s fifth month of pregnancy, show that she will indeed give birth to a child with Tay-Sachs.
What should they do? And why?
5. Analyze Dr. Kevorkian’s case in regards to mercy death, do you agree or disagree with his actions and why.
6. As a young college student, Jerry has found himself behind on several important bills. Faced with the reality of living without electricity, water and gas, Jerry decided that drastic measures were required to settle debt and establish economic stability until he finishes his college degree. Three months earlier Jerry’s kidneys were tested for donor compatibility to save the life of his ailing father. Unfortunately, neither he nor anyone else on the donor lists matched. One month later, Jerry lost his father and his financial security. With his current financial crises and knowledge of both his blood and tissue type, Jerry decided to sell his kidney through an ad on Craigslist for $25,000. Within hours, his inbox was full of requests from potential buyers who were desperate for a transplant. Unfortunately for Jerry, he was informed that it was illegal for individuals to sell their own organs.
Why do you think such a law was needed? Do you believe people have just as much right to profit from selling personal organs as the medical industry?

7. Define Capital punishment. Evaluate Retributive, Utilitarian and Restitution theory of punishment.

8. A doctor-researcher in residence at a private institution for mentally retarded children discovers that the children in one of the dormitories have dysentery, whereas those in the other dormitories do not. She decides to experiment with the children, both to see what had caused this phenomenon and to study the effects of dysentery and its various cures upon children in general. She sets up a scientific study with control groups (in which some students receive medication and some do not), and part of her experiment involves infecting healthy children with dysentery germs. The institution for which she works has a long waiting list, and the doctor takes advantage of this, admitting only those children whose parents will sign a release allowing her to conduct experiments upon them .
What are the ethical implications of what the doctor is doing? Should such experimentation be allowed? Why or why not?