The Case of Tracy Latimer

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By simirae
Words 952
Pages 4
The Case of Tracy Latimer
Applied Ethics Paper
Summer 2013

Murder, the word sounds very ominous. When one thinks of murder they tend to be morally outraged. Morality, now that word sounds like a very simple concept. Unfortunately it is not simple when dealing with the concept of right and wrong because there are many separate and different ways to view morality. And as such murder at times is not always murder but could be defined as mercy. In the case of a 12 year old child name Tracy Latimer the concept of morality and murder become even murkier. Within this essay I am going to attempt to describe, evaluate and critically lay out both sides of morality in reference to this action of depraved murder verse mercy killing, of a handicapped child.

Tracy Latimer was a 12 year old child who unfortunately was born with cerebral palsy. Because of her condition Tracy weighed just under 40 pounds, had the mentality of a three month old infant, and was subjected to countless surgeries. In 1993 Tracy’s father, Robert Latimer carried his daughter out of their house and placed her in the cab of his truck where he then proceeded to intentionally fill the cab of the truck with exhaust fumes until his daughter was dead. In lemans terms he poisoned his child with exposure to carbon monoxide. Viewing this from an ethical standpoint of morals, we now have to question if Mr. Latimer was morally justified for his actions or not. Was this a condonable mercy killing or was it cold blooded murder?

In the argument of whether or not Mr. Latimer was right or wrong there are many different aspects to look at. On one side you can argue that Mr. Latimer was morally right for his actions. Why? Well, if you agree with the Utilitarian viewpoint, which in this case I do partially agree with, then you’d side with Mr. Latimer being justified. The Utilitarian argument would follow as such:…...

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