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Medical Ethics and Recognizing the Higher Faculties of Humans - Assignment Example

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This paper “Medical Ethics and Recognizing the Higher Faculties of Humans” outlines some of the moral dilemmas raised by the book “Tuesdays With Morrie” as well as some of its implications to health care. “Tuesdays With Morrie” verbalizes issues about gerontology, geriatrics, and end of life care…
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Medical Ethics and Recognizing the Higher Faculties of Humans

Written by Mitch Albom in 1997 to pay for his favorite teacher’s medical bills (CNN, 2001), “Tuesdays With Morrie” has sold more than 1 million copies and is one of the top literature used to teach and cultivate critical thinking skills in undergraduate health care courses. The novel tackles the true story of Morrie Schwartz, a sociology professor of Brandeis University who developed amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) or more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. It is a summary of the weekly conversation between the author and Morrie which dealt with issues such as marriage, family, relationships, culture, love, emotions, forgiving, aging and death. Mitch described it as their “last class together…[where they] talked all day about what’s important in life once you know you’re going to die” (CNN, 2001). The book is often categorized as a biographical and philosophical novel and is read for entertainment but it also provides different insights for medical practitioners. Over the years, it has served as a guide towards understanding health equity, and social justice in health care. Its lessons about aging and dying provides readers with a unique approach towards dealing with individuals who are terminally ill.
The story raises various moral dilemmas, perhaps the most important of which is the understanding of death. In the book, Morrie remarks, “Everyone knows they’re going to die, but nobody believes it” (Albom, 1997, p.76). This was a comment not only about the fear of death, but also, the lifestyles that people live. Morrie believed that most Americans do not prepare for death, hence they are unable to appreciate their lives. He expounds, “[M]ost of us walk around as if we’re sleepwalking. We really don’t experience the world fully, because we’re half asleep, doing things we automatically think we have to do” (Albom, 1997, p. 77). People prioritize work over their families because they think they need money in order to enjoy life, but in the process, they waste their time working, never realizing that their families are moving on without them. People have become so involved in materialistic things that they never really appreciate the beauty of nature, “the loving relationships we have, the universe around us, we take these things for granted” (Albom, 1997, p. 78). Morrie’s insights were unique in that it talks about the failure of the American culture to provide its people with a sense of purpose. The American belongs to a society of consumers – their homes, cars, and bank accounts determine their success. Hence, early in life, most people are already conditioned to work hard in order to fulfill their economic needs. For Morrie, people waste their time running after things that does not provide them with purpose. He says to Mitch, ... Read More
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