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What scientific facts are relevant to Katherine Mosers decision to be

genetically tested for Huntingtons Disease? Was Katharine Mosers decision

morally wrong?
In ethics, Kantianism and Ultalitarianism are two faces of the same coin. Kantian
ethics belives in a "right" course of action and moral obligation., regardless of the
effects and consequences. Kant called this "practical reason", which serves as his
sort of moral compass. This reason told him that actions such as lying was wrong,
without needeing to appeal to the possible consequences of not teling the truth.
Conversely, utalitarianism focuses on commiting the right action through weighing of
its consequences. To be more specific, a utalitarian act is considered more "right" if it
produces more happiness and least suffering! that all its other outcomes.
Katherine Moser choses the utalitarian way of reasoning when she decides to
know if she has the genes responsible for the lethal Huntignton's disease a
progressive brain disorder that leads to uncontrolled movements and loss of
cognition! Moser overcomes the stigma of being labeled terminal and uses her
bad news to attempt and inspire and help others in similar positions! "he
weighs her options and opts for a choice which will offer her the least amount
of pain and will offer the highest chance at happiness!
In the case of Katharine "oser , who underwent a battery of tests and e#aminations,
utalitarianism would agree that this is the best course of action in order to best triage
all the possible choices and happiness$dependant outcomes. "oreover, more tests
leads to a precise diagnosis and a more specific therapy, which would, in theory,
decrease suffering. The idea that one%s one genetic library could be turned lethal
against its own home is relevant to the discussion in that there are things that can
be done to combat this siituation, but only to an e#tent. Kantianism relies heavily on
practical reason and a sense of internal moral compass, but in scientific climates,
one%s own chance of survival can only be helped by measuring the therapies and
determining the best possible outcome. That is to say, healthcare in developed
countries is more fitted to the utalitarian way of thin&ing rather than the "do what
feels right" teachings of Kantianism. In addition, through the mere availability of
personali'ed genetic testing, a patient is offered another door, another tool to use in
their desicion ma&ing, and if the procedure promises certainty in &nowning the
possible future pain or happiness, it seems fitting that the utalitarian way of thin&ing
be applied.
( decision can be morally wrong when viewed thrrough one philosophical lense, yet
acceptable in another. Using this dichotomy, The article mentions that despite
medical advances in other areas of illness, little is &nown about )untington%s
disease. *hen this information is combined with the disease%s lethality, it ma&es
even the scant test available all that more valuable. If Kantianism relies on the inner
self &nowing what+s right, then it seems a betrayal that the lethal disease is comming
from one%s own internal biological code. *hat is to be done when this inner self is
compromised, Is sound Kantian reasoning even possible at that point, -ymptoms
of this pathology include. loss of short$term memory and modd swings, all actions
whose looming presence compromise the idea of the self, rendering practical
reasoning all but innefective. That is to say, becayse this illness progresses slowly,
one%s own /udgement and internal dialogue is constantly colored by the promise of
the incomming runaway train. This leads to a state of high an#iety that, again, is
better fitted for the more orderly utalitarian thought process. (s writer (my )armon
states, "The gene that will &ill "s. "oser sits on the short arm of everyone0s fourth
chromosome, where the letters of the genetic alphabet normally repeat C$($1 as
many as 23 times in a row. In people who develop )untington0s, however, there are
more than 23 repeats." The reason for this mista&e is yet un&own, and there is no
cure now or in the forseeable future.
)aving the prividlidge of &nowing her results$and what a privilidge it is, since people
in less developed countries are left to wait in lethal anticipation$ allows "s. "oser to
build up her resolve to fight the alien biology. "oser rleases any emotional ties to
marriage and relationships she has when she finds out of her probable shortened life
span. This in turn, saves her and her possible partner from unhappiness, a
thuroughly sound decision from a utalitarian point of view. The same can be said for
her efforts in fund raising for a cure. and her other forms of preparing herslef for her
e#piedited end. It can also be argued that although undergoing the testing might lead
to negative outcomes, the uncertainty of not &nowing does nothing to solve this
problem. -tic&ing one%s head in the sand is more "morally wrong" than &nowing the
time of one%s demise.
Ultimately, It is important to mention that utalitarianism does not account for
situations of uncertainty. )ad "oser not undergone testing, she would have spent
her nights possibly wondering about her limited time, or she may have not. It is this
uncertainty that ma&es it difficult to ta&e a side with either philosophical way of
thin&ing. )owever, this paper ta&es the side that it is always better to &now, since in
the end, everyone must die, she was /ust forced todeal with this fact much faster that
the average person.