Ethical Response to the Movie John Q

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Lori Kirkland Professor Phillip Lioi Liberal Arts and Sciences/LAC 1254 01 October 2012 Ethical Response to the Movie John Q According to Kant and his three basic insights of thinking John Q did not act in a moral or ethical fashion. As the movie relates, we see that John Q. is put in to a situation wherein he must either accept the fate of his son’s situation and prepare for a funeral or find some way to raise enough funds to pay for an emergency cardiac operation. He accepts the responsibility of fund raising to attempt to gain enough funds for the surgery. Meanwhile, he investigates the coverage of the insurance policy he has through his employer. He finds that time is of the essence and the money from fund raising is not coming quick enough nor does the insurance policy he pays in to each month provide the adequate coverage. In the meantime, his son’s condition is deteriorating rapidly and his wife pressures him to “do something”. John Q. is desperate and makes the irrational decision to take the cardiac doctor and ER of the hospital hostage. This is where the conflict with the Kantian moral theory comes in to play. Kant believed an rational, reasonable human being has the ability to choose to do the right thing. Although John Q. believed he was doing the right thing and acting on behalf of his son and the moral duty and obligation to love and protect his son at any cost, the decision he made to take the hospital hostage was not the “right thing to do”. Another of Kant’s beliefs was that an action is morally correct if it can be willed as universal moral law. I am certain that the world, made up of rational and reasonable human beings, could agree that making the decision to display what appeared to be a loaded weapon in an emergency room full of patients and take them hostage, is the right thing to do and would be
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