Posted: Nov 11, 2014 4:00 am
by The_Metatron
jamest wrote:
The_Metatron wrote:My youngest boy had an optic nerve anomaly this last summer that had the appearance of being caused by brain cancer. For about three weeks, we didn't know what was the actual problem, which turned out to be not cancer or life threatening.

I had a taste of what it would be like to try to cure a seven year old boy of cancer. Man, you don't want to experience that.

My point is, because of what I learned this summer, I can very well weigh the ethical importance of the consequences of each situation.

I find myself unable to satisfactorily trump the expenditure of that $1100 on a dog in comparison to giving that money to a family with a child facing the same fate. If successful, there would be a last chemotherapy treatment for a child with cancer. Could be that I can make it possible for a family to get their kid to that treatment.

I know what is the most ethical thing to do. It is a surprisingly simple thing to resolve.

What it does nothing to resolve is how our family will feel about the death of our dog. This is the only dog my boys have known. For me, I've done this before. I don't have to like it, but I know what to do. But, I have to get my boys through this, and equip them to deal with the concept in a healthy way. Dogs don't live as long as people do. For that matter, people don't always live as long as people do.

It is this pain of loss with which we must learn to cope.

You didn't have a taste of what it would be like to cure a seven year old boy of cancer. Seven year old boys are not your primary concern. You had a taste of what it would be like to face the loss of someone you love. Love is the issue here. And if you realise that, then you'll do what is right for your dog.

It would be best if you didn't couch that in what you think I did or didn't experience.

You didn't read what I wrote, or you failed to understand it. For that three weeks, I faced the specter of my boy having cancer that would likely kill him. A quality we would call empathy teaches me that anyone else facing the same specter would feel similarly.

What you're suggesting is that because I like my dog very much, her life is more valuable than a random child's. I reject that suggestion.

The fact is, other peoples' kids die all the time, and it doesn't affect me in the least, as I don't know those people. But I do know my dog very well, and the effect of her death is strong on me. That relative effect on me doesn't factor into my examination of this situation.

In the same way I would save the life of a random child over a random dog, I have no choice but reach the same conclusion when considering the life of my own dog. Which, in reality, I cannot prolong much.