Wednesday, September 2, 2009

A Lesson in Lying.

An assignment we had this week was to listen to a NPR podcast about lying to a dementia pacient. The question was being asked about whether or not it was ethically wrong to lie. In this certain case the lie would calm the patient down. On the other hand, the truth would cause him to freak out and cause harm to not only himself but also the workers tying to strain him.

My professor asked the class what we thought, whether it unethical to lie to the patient. And to write about lies that we have told that we thought were ethical. Here is what I said...

From a young age children are taught that it is wrong to lie. Certain things in life come with exceptions; lying is one of those things. I believe in what Randy Cohen has said, that how when the lie benefits the other person then it can be justified. I have never lied to a person with Alzheimer’s, but I have lied to my Mother and Grandmother on several occasions. Both of who are strong and healthy women. In a way, one could say that I am their greatest weakness. I say this because I know that I make them worry. I have had my drivers’ license for two years now but my grandmother is still scared to death anytime she knows I am behind the wheel. To ad to her stress I just recently got my motorcycle license. Whenever I am talking to her and she knows I am heading out to go somewhere she always asks weather I am taking my bike or my car. As far as she knows, I have yet to ride my motorcycle. I frequently lie to my grandmother when I am leaving town for the weekend with my friends. I find no need for her to know where I am if it doesn’t concern her, and there is absolutely no need to worry her more. A more recent example of a lie I have told was when I was talking on the phone with my mother today. She helped me move in and I had lofted my bed (really high). I could tell she was concerned about the bed falling, or me falling off the bed. My mother called this afternoon to check on how my second day of classes went. I decided that this would be the perfect time to tell her that she was right, I didn’t like my bed lofted, and that I had lowered it. Well, no, actually, I didn’t lower it. My bed is still extremely high off the ground but there was absolutely no reason for my mother to worry. To me, these lies are justifiable considering the fact that I am relieving the stress of worrying to my family. An unjustifiable lie would be anything that benefits the person that is doing the lying. I have told many lies in my childhood, and now, that are unjustifiable. That doesn’t mean that I wont teach my future children not to lie. All this means that everyone eventually learns that sometimes, you have to.

No comments:

Post a Comment