What would a divine command ethicist say is the moral thing to do here?

Posted: January 18th, 2023

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What would a divine command ethicist say is the moral thing to do here? Why would they say that? Do you agree with the divine command ethics? Why or why not?
     The dilemma for this weeks discussion involves a 12 year old child who lost a large amount of blood and requires a blood transfusion, the parents want to prevent the transfusion and remove the child from the hospital, even if that means death to the child. The parents happen to be members of a religion that believes that blood transfusions are immoral, and if the child receives blood from another person it is seen as immoral in the eyes of the parents and God. The divine command theory believes that God dictates what actions are morally right and wrong (Rachels & Rachels, 2019). The parents view their decision as moral in their eyes and if God says something is immoral than it must be correct. 
     Personally, I do not agree with the divine command ethics, due to their religion it is putting this child at risk for death because they need the blood transfusion. I think everyone needs to have respect for religions different from their own, but if the child needs the blood transfusion in order to live I think that religion needs to be pushed aside and do whats in the best interest of the child. I believe I would participate in this dilemma only if we respected the religion and have tried every other solution to help this child without giving blood, but if nothing else is working then giving blood would be the appropriate action to take for this child.
Evaluate what a natural law ethicist would say is right to do. Do you agree with them? Why or why not?
     Natural law is a moral theory which asserts that there is a moral code which applies to all humans and which exists within our nature. “Natural Law Theory supports doing unnatural deeds such as surgery for the sake of realizing a restoration of health and the prolongation of human life which are each consistent with the natural drives, or in other terms, survival” (Chapter 7. Deontological Theories: Natural Law, n.d.). Based off of this statement made, I think that the natural law ethicist would proceed with the blood transfusion, even though it is against the parents religion because it is a life or death situation for the child. I would have to agree to an extent with the natural ethicist because it means survival for the child, but I would want to ensure all other options have been ruled out and a blood transfusion is the last option we would have.
Given what you said are the right things to do, what would an emotivist say about your positions and judgments? What role does subjectivity play here in determining what is ethical? 
      “Emotivism is the view that moral judgments do not function as statements of fact but rather as expressions of the speaker’s or writer’s feelings” (Britannica 2013). I think an emotivist would judge the dilemma based off of survival, they would want to proceed with the transfusion even though it is against the parents religion. Subjectivity plays a major role in determining what is ethical, for this dilemma I believe the ethical thing to do would be to proceed with the transfusion because it all comes down to survival, and the family should be educated by the healthcare team on the high risk of death if the child doesn’t get the transfusion.
Britannica, T. Editors of Encyclopaedia (2013, May 22). emotivism. Encyclopedia Britannica. https://www.britannica.com/topic/emotivismLinks to an external site.
Natural Law Theory. (n.d.).  https://www.qcc.cuny.edu/socialsciences/ppecorino/ethics_text/chapter_7_deontological_theories_natural_law/Natural_Law_Theory.htm Links to an external site.

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