Bioethics Discussion Blog: “Is My Time Up?”: Why the Answer is Not a Simple One

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Sunday, July 03, 2011

“Is My Time Up?”: Why the Answer is Not a Simple One

A 54 year old woman had a heart attack and was taken to the hospital.

While on the operating table she had a near death experience. Seeing God she asked "Is my time up?"

God considered his computer databases and answered, "No, you have another 43 years, 2 months and 8 days to live."

Upon recovery, the woman decided to stay in the hospital and have a face-lift, liposuction, breast implants and a tummy tuck. She even had someone come in and change her hair color and brighten her teeth--since she had so much more time to live, she figured she might as well make the most of it!

After the last surgery, she was released from the hospital.

While crossing the street on her way home, she was killed by an ambulance that was rushing to hospital emergency.

Arriving before God, she demanded, "I thought you said I had another 43 years? Why didn't you pull me from out of the path of the ambulance?"

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God replied: "My goodness--I didn't recognize you!"

What does this story tell you? To me it suggests that generalizations regarding any individual can never be without possible error, whether it is from a computer statistical analysis or from, well… even God.

In ethics and medicine and in law, it is all about the understanding of facts and sometimes, perhaps unexpectedly, the facts change. ..Maurice.

p.s.- The story was related to me by a fellow ethicist. The origin of the story is unknown.

1 Comments:

At Wednesday, July 20, 2011 10:12:00 PM, Anonymous Priyanka Kapoor said...

good example (this story rotated as a joke) , and yes the facts change.
well what i say is do good , be good...well what god said u will live for 43 years and not become 23 yrs old. so this is greed...the lady was greedy to look good and live a young woman's life. she could have done something more better in life rather than spending so much on her looks.

 

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