Sinking Ship

The ship is sinking and the seas are rough. All but one lifeboat has been destroyed. All but one lifeboat has been destroyed. The lifeboat holds a maximum of five people. There are ten people that want to board the lifeboat. The five individuals who do not board the boat will certainly die.

  • Woman who thinks she is six weeks pregnant
  • Lifeguard
  • Two young adults who recently married
  • Senior citizen who has fifteen grandchildren
  • Elementary school teacher
  • Thirteen-year-old twins
  • Veteran nurse
  • Captain of the ship

We were asked this ethical dilemma in our last class and were told to think about the five people that we would let board the lifeboat. After taking some time to think about it, I chose the two young adults who recently got married, thirteen-year-old twins, and the veteran nurse. Take some time to think about it. Which five people would you let board the lifeboat? I’ll explain the reasonings for my decisions and the reasons why I didn’t pick the others.

I chose the two young adults who just got married because they are just starting an important part of your life and will probably plan on bringing other lives into this world. The possible future of their lives has just started, and it wouldn’t be fair to keep just one and wouldn’t be right to choose neither of them. I chose the thirteen-year-old twins because in a way they are like the married couple. It wouldn’t be right to break them up and only choose one and being thirteen you are moving onto a new chapter in your life. Their life has just started in a way because they are about to experience high school, driving, relationships, etc. I also chose the veteran nurse simply because I thought it would be a good idea to have someone with medical experience on the lifeboat to help in a possible medical scenario.

It’s never our decision to choose who deserves to live and who doesn’t. Which is why I find these types of ethical questions so difficult; but with that being said, this is just my reasonings as to why I didn’t choose any of the other five. I didn’t choose the woman who thinks she is pregnant solely because of the word “thinks”. Had it said she was six weeks pregnant, my answer would’ve changed. I didn’t choose the lifeguard of the captain of the ship because I feel that they are kind of incompetent. I didn’t choose the elementary school teacher because I didn’t feel as though they were urgent enough. Maybe if they taught disabled students it would’ve been different. I also didn’t choose the grandmother because although she has fifteen grandchildren, I feel as though she lived her life when there are more people on the list that are kind of just starting theirs.

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