Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Million Dollar Baby, Ethics, & Euthanasia

After watching the movie “Million dollar Baby” with my sister for one of her school projects, I became much more aware to ethical delimas. it is the ethical dilemma of euthanasia that took over the movie. When Maggie suffers a neck-trauma injury she is left paralysed from the neck down. After leading such a physical, empowering life she could not bare the thought of being physically restricted. Maggie dedicated years of her life to perfect boxing as she strived to reach for the top, and in seconds her career was over.

This devasted not only her, but Frankie as well. She was also his ticket to a championship title and was very proud of the progress that the two of them made. Maggie simply can not bare the thought of spending the rest of her life bound to a wheelchair. With that in mind, she asks the closest thing she has to family for an unspeakable favour. That family being Frankie, the favour being assisted suicide. Maggie reminds Frankie about the story of her father and their dog. She says, “I can’t be like this, Frankie. Not after what I’ve done…People chanted my name…I was in magazines…I got what I needed…Don’t let them keep taking it away from me.” Frankie tells her, “I can’t. Please, please don’t ask me.” Maggie begs, “I’m asking,” which Frankie grudgingly responds “I can’t.” It may kill him to see Maggie, who he views as a daughter figure, not fighting for the first time, but he has to assess the situation.

Frankie can either assist Maggie's suicide and live a life filled with the realization that he had in fact killed someone along with the legal binding that come hand in hand with euthanasia. His other option is watching Maggie waste away in a hospital bed, unhappy, without the desire to live. He does not want to see Maggie struggling to live day to day, but at the same time he does not want to be the one to end her life. Frankie views Maggie as not only as a boxer, but as a daughter. Although he has tried to contact his daughter, she never reads his letter which only makes his connection with Maggie that much stronger. Considering the fact that he feels that father-daughter connection, he can not imagine taking her life. The moral of family dynamic makes her request a devastating thought.

Maggie is not trying to burden Frankie with her troubling idea, she just does not want to live an unhappy life. She sees that she has had her fun, seen the world, and accomplished more than she has even dreamed of. She does not want to kill her self to get away from her life, she wants to die so she can value the times she good has had. Maggie wants to die knowing she has lived life to the fullest, to the most potential she possibly could have every single day. To her, forever in a hospital bed would not be living at all. Dead or alive, she feels as if her life is already over. Frank looks past what society thinks is right, and does help her. 

Socially, this is a huge ethical delima, yet morally, I am team Frank. When reflecting upon this I learned that sometimes what is viewed as right, may not be what feels right. 

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