The Ethical Dilemma Of Captain Madewell Essay

1440 Words Dec 7th, 2015 6 Pages
The Ethical Dilemma It is an impossible decision to take someone’s life, even if it is an act of mercy or love. Watching a friend or family member suffer from injuries that essentially confirm their death makes it hard not to want to end that suffering. There is no way to completely justify the intentional death of any person, especially a loved one, because an outcome of death is a permanent one. There is no way to take that back or change your mind once the decision is made. Most people desire to avoid death or even the idea of death at all costs; but for some people, death is the only escape because the suffering they experience throughout their lives is too great. Despite all of this, if I were in the shoes of Captain Madewell my decision would have been identical to his and I would have been confident that it was the right decision, despite the potential consequences. Captain Madewell made the impossible decision to kill his lifelong best friend, Sergeant Halcrow. It was not out of rage or hatred like many murders are, but rather from a place of love and possibly even pity. The method he used for killing his friend was not ideal, but at the time it was his best and only option. This incident took place during the Civil War, at a time when the medical treatment available could not have saved his friend. The wound that Sergeant Halcrow obtained “was a wide, ragged opening in the abdomen. It was defiled with earth and dead leaves. Protruding from it was a loop of small…

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