C × (I+M) = E, A RESPONSE TO JAMES RACHELS’ ‘SMITH & JONES’ ILLUSTRATION

CLICK FOR PDF COPY: PHI7550 Final Exam – C × (I+M) = E, A RESPONSE TO JAMES RACHELS’ ‘SMITH & JONES’ ILLUSTRATION

QUESTION 2: Briefly tell the story of Jones and Smith in James Rachels’ article.  Why does Rachels believe that this tale shows that there is no moral difference between active and passive euthanasia?  Do you agree that there is no moral difference between active and passive euthanasia? Explain and defend your answer.

C ´ (I+M) = E
A Response to James Rachels’ ‘Smith & Jones’ Illustration

In this essay, I will briefly summarize James Rachels’ argumentative defense of active euthanasia. With this summarization in mind, special emphasis will be placed on Rachels’ ‘Smith & Jones’ illustration, with the goal of demonstrating how said illustrations prove lacking in their attempt to argue for an insignificant moral difference between active and passive euthanasia. After demonstrating the overall weakness of the analogy, I will attempt to prove that the analogy fails in its inability to best reflect other alternatives and factors that determine moral significance. Key amongst these missing yet hinted elements will be the existence of a third scenario in Rachels’ analogy, the importance motive plays in determining moral weight, and the nature of treatment in which euthanasia presupposes.

I. Rachels’ Argumentative Premises

Before we review the central analogy in question, it is profitable to summarize some of Rachels’ important argumentative premises. Given Rachels’ has already worked to define the traditional view, and that we are responding to Rachels’ claims, we will bypass an explanation of the traditional argument. After Rachels’ offers this summary, he seeks to flesh out what he deems to be an ‘alternative’ and preferable view. At its foundation, Rachels’ argues for a difference between “having a life and merely being alive,” (Rachels 258). The traditional claim of the value of keeping innocent humans alive appears unimportant to Rachels, and instead he claims that:

One’s life, by contrast, is immensely important; it is the sum of one’s aspirations, decisions, activities, projects, and human relationships. The point of the rule against killing is the protection of lives and the interests that some beings, including ourselves, have in virtue of the fact that we are subjects of lives. (258)

Rachels develops the terms ‘biological’ life to refer to simply being biologically ‘alive’, and ‘biographical’ to refer to ‘life’ (containing memories, meaning, goals, etc). Although death is a ‘misfortune,’ it is so because of its tendency to bring one’s biographical life to an end. As stated on p. 259, Rachels’ thesis and purpose may then be summarized as follows:

I will argue, the distinction between killing and letting die is morally insignificant… the fact that one act is an act of killing (for example, “mercy-killing”) while another act is an act of merely” letting someone die (for example, “pulling the plug” of a life-sustaining medical device) is not in itself a reason for thinking one act morally better than the other. (p. 259)

II. Rachels’ ‘Smith & Jones’ Analogy

In Rachels’ attempt to show that there exists little difference between letting die and killing someone, Rachels presents us with two scenarios. In the first, individual Smith will gain a significance amount of an inheritance if anything were to happen to his six-year-old cousin. As a result, while the child is showering, Smith enters, drowns the child, and arranges the scene to appear as if a bizarre accident. With all other factors remaining equal, Rachels then presents the case of Jones, who also stands to gain a significant monetary inheritance if something were to happen to the six-year-old cousin. Like Smith, Jones willfully plans to drown his cousin while he is showering, yet upon entering the bathroom finds that the cousin has slipped and hit his head. The unconscious cousin lands face first in the bath, drowning. Jones is delighted and simply stands there to let the child die.

It is important to notice that several compelling factors remain the same: the same motive, the same desire for personal gain, and the same end view. If Jones were to go before a court, would we find it satisfactory for him to declare “I didn’t do anything except just stand there and watch the child drown. I didn’t kill him; I only let him die,” (265)? Surely we can agree he is a wicked man, and a terrible human being, but what can we determine about the act itself? Is this an honest representation of ‘letting die,’ and is it that different from murder? With all this in mind, Rachels connects his point:

Cases of euthanasia with which doctors are concerned are not like this at all. They do not involve personal gain or the destruction of normal healthy children. Doctors are concerned only with cases in which the patient’s life is of no further use to him, or in which the patient’s life has become or will soon become a terrible burden. However, the point is the same in these cases: the base difference between killing and letting die does not, in itself, make a moral difference. (265)

Rachels then concludes by saying “that killing is not itself any worse than letting die; if my contention is right, it follows that active euthanasia is not any worse than passive euthanasia,” (266).

III. Problems with the ‘Smith & Jones’ Analogy

The strength of the ‘Smith & Jones’ analogy is that it appears to blur the distinctions between the traditionally recognized differences of ‘letting die’ and murder. As you read the interactions of these two heinous individuals, you are left questioning whether Jones actions could possibly be deemed any better than that of Smith. In his approach, Rachels’ seeks to have his reader question two traditionally accepted premises: (1) that human life in its simple biological form contains no absolute value, but rather draws its value from its biographical worth (goals, dreams, memory, etc.), and (2) the distinction between letting die and murder is insignificant to the point of arguing for a rejection of the term, and an acceptance of euthanasia as a morally permissible option. Given that Rachels’ analogy contributes much to his argument in the form of deconstructing the moral value of a ‘letting die’ and ‘murder’ distinction, we will focus first on proving how the analogy fails to honestly reflect the real scenario in which it seeks to portray. With his analogy left in question, we will explore whether there exists a real moral distinction between ‘letting die’ and ‘euthanasia,’ and then conclude with how this relates to Rachels’ analogy.

1. Problems with the Analogy

Upon reading through Rachels’ analogy we would be in right agreement with him that the individuals have acted horrifically. Smith and Jones neither act in the interest of the child, nor recognize that the child has biographical value and much potential. We would term such an event a tragedy, and we would leave it saying the came thing: the morally superior action would be to simply rescue the kid. However, does this accurately represent a traditional understanding of ‘letting die’? It would appear that something is missing, as if there could be a third case that better reflects the distinctions of ‘letting die,’ and whether this example can truly be accepted as such a representation. Before we analyze a third option, we shall address two significant problems with Rachels’ analogy.

After digesting the repulsion one feels upon reading the events of Smith and Jones, one may begin to settle on a feeling of unease. Although emotionally charged, there appears to be various overt problems with the analogy as it pertains to its real practiced counterpart. First of these would seem to be the nature of the event. We are presented with a terminal vs. bizarre accident distinction, whereas the analogy portrays what may be termed a ‘freak accident.’ There is clearly a difference between someone who acquires a (unfortunate) naturally occurring disease, such as cancer or Alzheimer’s, and the bizarre accident of the child slipping. In his analogy, he seeks to present us with this freakish occurrence, as if the terminality of something such as naturally occurring as cancer can be equivalent in explanatory power to freak accidents.  In addition, clearly different between this analogy and its real counterpart is the ease of rescue vs. the terminal nature of diseases. An illustration would make the point: Imagine there exists a cure for all types of cancer. Excellent you say! Better yet, imagine this very cure is found in a simple sugar pill available to all. Cancer would then have lost its terminal value. It would seem rather bizarre to argue that one should be killed because they have a terminal disease, when in fact the cure for such terminality is so easily and widely available. The argument of euthanasia totally loses its value on the basis of the ease of rescue/treatment. To argue that we should simply ‘let them die’ seems lacking of any serious value given said availability. So is the case with Rachels’ analogy. The child can be rescued by simply lifting him from the water, making it objectionable that it would properly portray the real examples of terminal disease, euthanasia, and ‘letting die’.

Second to the issue of the natural terminality of disease and the ease of rescue, one may object to the analogy on the grounds of presenting an ad absurdum. From the analogy we leave with the following conclusion: each individual stands to make some selfish gain out of the death of this child. One acts to actively end the child’s life, while the other seeks to passively bring it about. Rachels’ would argue the second incident represents the ‘letting die’ position. We would be left to conclude that such behavior is morally objectionable. However, allow us to follow such reasoning. We may assume that many philosophers enjoy a good cup of Starbucks coffee. At nearly $4-5 a cup, we may also assume this is quite expensive. However, it is in the self-interest of philosophers to buy such coffee for consumption. It may also be assumed that this is hardly a necessity, and is instead a luxury, for philosophers can survive without coffee consumption (although some would disagree!). However, a majority of the world has not this luxury. In third world countries across the world, we find the vast population suffering not from a lack of luxurious coffee, but a lack of necessary water. Around every 27 seconds a child dies of a hunger/malnourishment disease. In addition, for the price of a cup of coffee or two, a child can be provided with life-saving nourishment. These children have clear biographical value, and like the child from Rachels’ analogy, it is in their interest to preserve such life. Let us now assume any philosopher who reads this is aware that the cost of their luxury could instead be given to save biographical life. If such a philosopher were to go on buying Starbucks coffee, he would be ‘letting die’ biographically valued children (who may have the potential value to become philosophers themselves). The ease of rescue is similar in simplicity to the Smith & Jones analogy, whereas instead of simply pulling the child out of the tub, a philosopher would simply need to not buy coffee and donate the money to a charity, which would then provide a child with lifesaving nutrition. Both cases present individuals acting in their own self-interest (inheritance vs. coffee consumption), for luxuries (money vs. caffeinated beverage), in the awareness that an easy rescue is available (pulling out of the tub vs. donating coffee-drinking money to charity). The similarities between this Starbucks & Starvation and Rachels’ Smith & Jones are real (self-interest, ease of rescue, awareness, etc), but there seems to be a difference between the two. In addition, if we were to take the Starbucks & Starvation to its continued conclusion, most everything we utilize may be considered a luxury and an experience of us ‘letting die’ children in favor of our self-interests (coke, cakes, cars, etc). However, something seems missing that separates these two scenarios. One must either conclude that withholding any action that could save biographical lives is morally reprehensible and thus ‘letting die,’ and take that or its logical conclusion, or observe that something is in fact missing between these scenarios.

2. Something is Missing

Although in agreement with Rachels in regards to the horrendous nature of both Smith & Jones actions, there seems to be something missing. We observed that the element of the ease of rescue seems to play a significant role in determining moral weight. It would seem bizarre to argue that someone should either ‘let die’ a child, or kill a person, on the grounds of ending suffering that could be cured by an act of profound simplicity. Hardly does this properly portray the real incident of medical ‘letting die’ scenarios, for instead of events with such an ease of cure, we approach cases whereas the incidents are mostly terminal in nature. In addition, we took Rachels analogy and arrived to some interesting conclusions. If the moral disgust of Jones’ actions are found in him acting in his self-interest by depriving basic aid to the biographically valued child (pulling him out of the water), and this is termed ‘letting die,’ than much of what we do when we act in our self-interest to deprive biographical lives of basic aid seems to also be ‘letting die.’ However, this would include most of our very existence, from the types of cars we drive, to the amount we spend on fragrance products. Is this truly what is to be understood as ‘letting die,’ or can we find a better explanation? Perhaps an analogy would best make the case.

2.1 Analogy: A Mother & Her Child: Samantha

A mother named Samantha has recently had a child. It would appear that she had underestimated the number of responsibilities as well as the cost of caring for such a child. She is unable to go out and party with friends, nor afford Starbucks coffee, nor get a full nights rest, for the child’s continued cries for food or to be changed has sapped both her financial and personal resources. This woman finally decides that it is in her self-interest that the child die and she gain freedom. As such, she poisons her child. Clearly an act of murder, she is arrested and jailed, and rightfully so.

2.2 Analogy: A Mother & Her Child: Joan

Let us assume everything in the first scenario holds true for this one as well; yet let us call this woman Joan. It is still in the interest of the mother to have her child killed so that she too may gain her freedom. However, instead of actively killing her child through poison or some other means, she decides to simply let him die. To accomplish the fruition of her will she does not provide the child with food. Although she does not actively kill the child, the child dies as a natural result of starvation. Joan is arrested and jailed, and rightfully so. However she argues she simply let the child die, and that unlike Samantha she did not kill her child, but that starvation naturally killed him.

2.3 Analogy: A Mother & Her Child: Anna

Let us assume a third scenario. Anna has recently had a child. She loves him dearly, regardless of the serious burden placed upon her by the constant need of feeding and changing. Both the financial and personal tolls are quite serious, but such burdens pale in the face of the news that her beloved child has received a rare terminal cancer. She also comes to learn, upon trying available treatments, that they lack much effectiveness, and result with her child entering into a coma whereas she’s dependent on machines to regulate her heartbeat and breathing. The mother then makes the decision to take the child off the machines and ‘let her die’.

Clearly, we begin to notice that the condition of Samantha, Joan, and Anna are quite different. Although Rachels would make it seem as if Joan and Anna are both simply a ‘let die’ scenario, it overtly stands out as containing some significant differences. If the case of Joan, or Rachels’ Jones, don’t represent ‘letting die,’ but another category altogether, then the analogy fails, and so the assumption “that killing is not itself any worse than letting die,” is proven weak (266).

IV. Moral Difference Between Euthanasia & ‘Letting Die’

In the Starbucks & Starvation analogy, we were hinted at an importance of circumstantial relationships that we will later explore to determine relational obligations. In the A Mother & Her Child analogies, we notice a significant role that the women’s intentions play in regards to our immediate responses to their actions. Finally, we noticed an importance in the means of treatment in the A Cure for Cancer analogy, whereas the ease of rescue plays a significant role in moral decision-making. In exploring these terms, we will conclude that the case of Jones’ hardly represents ‘letting die,’ and thus produces an ineffective and incomplete analogy.

1. Forms of Euthanasia

In the traditional discussion of euthanasia, four categories are usually given. Passive and active euthanasia refer to acts done both indirectly and directly that result with the death of the patient. In addition to the passive/active dimension, euthanasia is also described as voluntary or involuntary, whereas death is either performed according to or against the will of the patient. Although helpful, we still find these categories lacking, for they simply describe the means (passive, active, voluntary, involuntary) to the effect (death), without regards to intent. In exploring the role that intent plays alongside other categories, we will develop somewhat of an equation in which we can utilize to determine the moral weight of actions.

2. C ´ (I+M) = E, C.I.M.E.

As mentioned earlier, our current categories for euthanasia seem lacking, for they only describe the means to the effect. In determining the moral rightness or wrongness of an effect, several elements are necessary to be observed. We will summarize this as an equation: Circumstances TIMES (Intent PLUS Means) EQUALS Effect. This overall equation relates to a moral scenario. One such scenario would be determining whether someone committed self-defense, manslaughter, or murder. In order to determine which of these three occurred (which effect the scenario produced), one must observe the circumstances of the occurrence (Was it in their home? Was it against a police officer? Was it during war?), what was the intention behind the action (Was it Malice? Was there no intention? Was it passion?), what were the means in which the action came about (Was it natural? Was it passive? Was it voluntary?), and after observing such elements, one may determine what type of effect occurred, and thus the morality there-of.

3. On Circumstances

The issue of circumstance plays several roles. For one, circumstances may establish relational obligations. This is most evident in the incident of Samantha, Joan, and Anna. We immediately object to the abuse of Joan not because she simply ‘let die’ her child, but because she refused the relational obligation a mother has to a child. The incidents of Samantha and Joan are so repulsive for the fact that circumstantial relations play such a significant role in determining moral right and wrong. My mother is not obligated to feed Joan’s child (if she were, we would call this kindness). However, Joan is very much obligated to do so. Besides Family & Member, other relations establish certain circumstantial obligations: Doctor & Patient, Citizen & Nation, Student & Teacher. In addition to the importance relational circumstances have on moral value, incidental circumstances also play a role. Whether the moral scenario involves an innocent or guilty person carries weight. Pulling a gun out and shooting an innocent man on the street is wholly a difference incident than pulling a gun out and shoot an enemy soldier. The circumstance here will produce a first-stop in determining the direction a moral question will go. It will also multiply the evaluation of Intent + Means, for a relational or incidental circumstance may determine whether the grounds of such actions are in themselves right or wrong.

4. On Intent

After observing the various circumstances relating to a moral scenario, much weight is to be placed on intent. We find such an important element missing in the issue of Rachels’ proposed analogy, for intent plays a significant role in determining the wrongness of effects. Intention determines the difference between lying & ignorance, murder & killing, and suicide & sacrifice, among others. We know that a soldier jumping on a grenade to rescue his brothers-in-arms is different from him shooting himself in the head. Our entire legal system is premised on the weight of intention, and this is pivotal in judging Rachels’ analogies worth regarding ‘letting die.’ Observing the case of Murder vs. Killing makes the point. Whether one killed is innocent or guilty first determines whether a homicide or killing occurred. As hinted earlier with circumstance, the killing of guilty persons is justified on grounds such as capital punishment, warfare, state sanctioned personnel (police officers), or self defense. However, if an innocent person is killed, one now faces a wrong. In addition, all killings of innocent people are not equal in the eyes of the law. Murder itself is divided as 1st, 2nd, and 3rd degrees. First-degree murder is the most heinous of the sort, and usually includes an element of premeditation, deliberateness, malice, and special circumstances (the murder of a judge, multiple murders, evidence of torture, etc). Second-degree murder is a lesser offense usually without the special circumstances of the first, yet still containing the element of premeditation, malice, or murder during felony actions. Finally, third degree murder is where the intent and malice was to harm the victim, but murder none-the-less occurred. Here we find the essential elements of intent and aggravating circumstances. A legal term used to describe such is malice. The existence of malice, or a state of mind to carry out harm or murder upon evidence of premeditation, allows a homicide to be rendered as an act of murder.  However, how does this differ from manslaughter? Manslaughter occurs where there does not exist a state of mind or intention to kill or create a deadly scenario, but where reckless action results with the death of an innocent person. We can see the important role intention plays in the following demonstrations:

5.1 Brick Thrower: Murder

An individual records the time and date a person drives home from work. He plans a date to wait on a bridge with a brick and has the intention to kill this victim. As the victim drives down the road, this individual throws the brick directly at the person. The brick cracks the glass, hits the victim in the face, and the victim crashes and dies. Murder has occurred.[1]

5.2 Brick Thrower: Manslaughter

An individual is bored on a bridge. He sees a brick, picks it up, and recklessly throws it over the bridge and into traffic. It is illegal to throw objects into traffic. He hits a windshield, and an individual crashes and dies. Manslaughter has occurred.[2]

5.3 Brick Thrower: Accidental Death/Killing

A man is walking upon a bridge. A powerful wind blows him up against the bridge wall. His foot hits a brick. This brick falls into traffic below, and into the window of a driver. The driver crashes and dies.[3]

5.4 Brick Thrower: Self Defense

A man is walking along a bridge with his wife and child. A robber goes before him, corners them against the bridge, pulls out a knife, and threatens to kill them. This robber even slashes the knife at them. The man grabs a brick, throws it at the robber, and the robber is hit in the head and dies.[4]

From this Brick Thrower illustration, one can see the importance intention plays in determining whether this person has committed a crime or not. It is also important in determining whether an accident has occurred, or recklessness. Two men may intend to harm one another (self-defense and murder), however circumstances, malice, and premeditation all play significant roles. It would then make sense, given all these important moral distinctions on the basis of intent, that the same would be true of Euthanasia and issues pertaining to life.

6. On Means

In addition to circumstance and intent, the means of an action also plays a significant role. As seen above with the Brick Thrower example, the means of a scenario may be reckless, or innocent, or accidental, which would then produce difference effects. In addition, there is a strong relation between means and circumstance. The means of not giving your money to those who demand it may usually be considered justified, but if the one demanding is your government, and what are being demanded are overdue taxes, then the situation changes. The importance of means in regards to the Rachels’ analogy in question is in the means of not doing something. You cannot simply state “I didn’t pay my taxes, I did nothing wrong,” for your circumstance as a citizen determines the means of not doing something as doing something wrong. The means of withholding an action in this case (not paying taxes), produces a morally wrong effect (tax evasion). Another example of a means that produces a morally wrong effect is a mother not feeding her child. She cannot simply state that she “just didn’t feed her child,” as a legitimate defense. Rather, as grounded upon relational obligation between a mother and child, the absence of an action (not feeding her child) is a means that produces a morally wrong effect (murder/abuse).

Another area where means is especially important in the discussion of euthanasia is in the nature of medical treatment. Here means can determine whether a morally right or wrong effect is produced. To continue treatment, the treatment must first be medically effective, and either provide a foreseeable benefit or aid in the recovery of the patient. If the means of medical treatment is ineffective, then an action may be taken to refuse treatment and let die naturally. This effective v. ineffective treatment dynamic is widely utilized in medical practice. When antibiotics are ineffective, one stops taking them. The same may apply for other medical treatments, from chemotherapy for terminal cancers, to robotics for brain dead patients.

 

 

V. Revisiting ‘Smith & Jones’ via C.I.M.E.

After having evaluated the importance circumstances, intent, and means play in producing morally right or wrong effects, we can now discuss the scenario of euthanasia and specifically the nature of Rachels’ ‘Smith & Jones’ analogy. In light of our C.I.M.E. analysis, we will find that the analogy does not hold, and produces little relevance in blurring the line of letting die and euthanasia.

1. In Light of Circumstance

In light of circumstances, it must be acknowledged that in Rachels’ analogy, the scenario of the tub occurs between family members. Although this does not carry the same relational obligation between a mother and her child, it may be argued that, as an aspect of family relations, Jones would hold some responsibility regarding the scenario. In not, the least that can be said is that the circumstantial relation between these cousins multiplies how repulsive Smith and Jones are, as well as the motivation one would normally have to rescue the child. In the reality in which it portrays, the circumstance occurring is between doctor and patient, which would then bring with it its own level of significance.

2. In Light of Intent

Most important to the analogy of Smith & Jones is the issue of intent and means. As we observed, malice intent can determine the difference between murder and manslaughter. It is clear in the cases of Smith & Jones that their intent is of malice and premeditation. This was represented also by the incidents of Samantha and Joan. However, we provided a third scenario where the intent was different. Anna sought out effective treatment, acted in the interest of the child, and in no ways was reckless. It is hard to see, given the polarized intention of the two, that Jones, Joan, and Anna all equally represent ‘letting die,’ especially given the means which produced the effect of the child’s death.

3. In Light of Means

Building upon the intent, we arrive at the pivotal moment of observing the means. These two must be added together, and then multiplied by the significance of circumstance, to produce a right or wrong effect. In the incident of Smith and Samantha, the child is directly murdered on the grounds of malice and direct killing. However, this is not so different from the actions of Jones and Joan. In the case of Joan, the act of not doing something (feeding her child) was simply another means to produce the effect of murder. Whereas the actions of Smith and Samantha were direct, and the actions of Jones and Joan were indirect, they seem more similar than different, especially when compared to Anna. It would seem that Jones and Joan are simply pursuing the same effect through the means of not doing something, but as we made evident in our discussion of means, not doing something may in fact be an immoral means (not feeding someone, not paying taxes, not listening to an officer). The intentionality of Samantha and Joan to kill the child, because they will profit, makes the event worse. This is not a case of simply ‘letting die’.

4. In Light of Effect

The incident of Jones becomes so questionable because he simply stands there when the child can be rescued by pulling him from the tub. This lines up more with our nature of medical treatment, for a medically effective treatment (pulling the child from the tub) is available to Jones. If evidence were known of his malice, then not providing such an ease of rescue, coupled with the circumstances, is morally reprehensible. However this is different from Anna, who responds to an incident whereas the ease of rescue is not a simple ‘sugar pill cure.’ Rather, she approaches a scenario where the treatment is ineffective. In the end, Jones’ lack of action/rescue is simply a means to the effect of murder, and his lack of doing the obvious moral good is quite different from a more real-world example of Anna. We would then need to ask the question, is Jones in fact really representative of a medical ‘let die’ scenario? Or is it in fact so objectionable because it is still murder, yet in an indirect fashion similar to Samantha’s choice to stop feeding her child and allowing him to die naturally of starvation? If this is the case, as gauged by utilizing C.I.M.E., then the effect produced by Rachels’ analogy is not ‘letting die,’ but an indirect murder. If Anna then better represents the ‘letting die’ position, which takes note of the importance that intent plays in judging the moral value of a scenario, then Rachels’ analogy fails to properly represent the real world.

VI. Conclusion

It should be noted that intention plays a significant role in determining whether there is a moral difference between ‘letting die’ and ‘murder.’ Can we really conclude that Jones’ not committing an action with such an ease of rescue, because it is a means to bring into fruition his malice intent, is the same as Anna, whose intent is to care for her child without submitting to ineffective treatments? It would seem that Jones’ example portrays an Active Indirect Euthanasia (Jones, Joan), versus Active Direct Euthanasia (Smith, Samantha), versus a Passive Euthanasia /’Letting Die’ (Anna). When factoring in whether this ‘euthanasia’ is done with malice intent, we can then conclude that ‘Letting Die’ is passive euthanasia when grounded in intent absent of malice and in accordance to the principle of medically effective and beneficial treatment. The lines between ‘active’ and ‘passive’ euthanasia can be clearly observed when the ‘letting die’ alternative is properly presented, as was the case with Anna vs. Samantha & Joan.


[1] State of Mind: Malice, Premeditated, Deliberate

  • Motive

o    Intention to Kill/Harm

o    Malice (Intention to Murder)

  • Means

o    Deliberate

  • Effect

o    Death of Human

o    Murder

[2] State of Mind: No intention to murder. Reckless action results in death.

  • Motive

o    No intent to Kill/Harm

o    Not premeditated

  • Means

o    Reckless

  • Effect

o    Death of Human

o    Manslaughter

[3] State of Mind: No intention to kill. Not acting reckless.

  • Motive

o    No intent to Kill/Harm

o    Not premeditated

  • Means

o    Innocent/Accidental

  • Effect

o    Death of Human

o    Accidental Death

[4] State of Mind: Intention to harm. Justified

  • Motive

o    Intent to Harm/Kill

o    Not premeditated

  • Means

o    Innocent

  • Effect

o    Death of Human

o    Self Defense

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s