What are the ethical implications of this surgery?

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Magritte
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What are the ethical implications of this surgery?

Post by Magritte » Wed Jan 09, 2013 6:46 am

http://ferrebeekeeper.wordpress.com/201 ... n-surgery/

This is so disturbing I have trouble believing it isn't an urban legend. Then again lobotomy was practiced for decades, so.

edit: apparently it's real. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20156524
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mdsimpson92
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Re: What are the ethical implications of this surgery?

Post by mdsimpson92 » Wed Jan 09, 2013 1:49 pm

Sadly enough I am not exactly surprised that the Chinese would have come up with something like this.

in terms of ethics, from a utilitarian perspective, it would depend on whether removing one person's ability to feel pleasure would create more benefit for society as a whole.
In any case, I do believe whatever findings should be published, even if it was acquired through potentially unethical means.

As for the treatment itself, I would find it very unethical. Perhaps not as bad as lobotomies, but still, you are removing one of the primary sources of human motivation (for better or worse). Not to sound overtly offensive, but in a sense you would be making a person less "human" if you get my meaning.
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Magritte
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Re: What are the ethical implications of this surgery?

Post by Magritte » Wed Jan 09, 2013 3:30 pm

mdsimpson92 wrote:in terms of ethics, from a utilitarian perspective, it would depend on whether removing one person's ability to feel pleasure would create more benefit for society as a whole.
Interesting. Do you see prison, capital punishment and fines as utilitarian also?
One of the hallmarks of freedom is that when you recognize someone is being intellectually dishonest or arguing with you in bad faith, you have the option to walk away without being punished, imprisoned or tortured.

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mdsimpson92
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Re: What are the ethical implications of this surgery?

Post by mdsimpson92 » Wed Jan 09, 2013 9:41 pm

Magritte wrote:
mdsimpson92 wrote:in terms of ethics, from a utilitarian perspective, it would depend on whether removing one person's ability to feel pleasure would create more benefit for society as a whole.
Interesting. Do you see prison, capital punishment and fines as utilitarian also?
Fines don't necessarily strike me as utilitarian. Capital punishment on the other hand might well have a sort of act utilitarian justification to it (remove an overly harmful member from society, i.e. serial rapist/murderer, crimes against humanity ect.)

I wasn't trying to paint this as having an overly utilitarian attitude, only that from that perspective you might justify it for the whole of society. I think it might potentially screw up a bit of utilitarian thought given that one of its ideas is that we are ruled by pleasure and pain. Removing pleasure would be a bit of a game changer for that individual wouldn't it.
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