Mercy Killing Creative Writing Reaction Paper Essay (Reaction Paper Sample)
The minimum length is 500 words per entry (content-only). That is 2 pages
computer-typed, double spaced in 12-point letter using Arial or Times New Roman
When do I begin writing my journal?
Right away from the first day of class. For those students who arrived later in the
course, they would have to begin from the first day that they attended class. In any
case, no later than the last day to Add/Drop FL1 Deadline, which was on
Wednesday Jan. 15, 2020.
Should it be in handwriting or computer typed?
It must be computer typed. For those who as have already begun their journal in
handwriting using for each entry 2 full 8 ½ X 11 pages, they have to continue their
journal computer-typed using the new instructions.
Example of a reflective journal
Journal entry # x, X of January, 2020
This week, we discussed the basics of Ethics. We started off with the definition of Ethics,
which is also called moral philosophy. Ethics is a discipline that deals with what is morally
good and bad. In ethics we study human conduct from the point of view of moral values
(like right and wrong, good or evil) and principles like “though shall not kill”. The term is
derived from the Greek word ethos which means character or disposition. The reason for
this is that in the beginning Ethics was thought of as a discipline designed to develop the
moral character of an individual by teaching him how to develop a set of moral habits that
will help that person conduct his or her life in a virtuous manner. As the professor
explained, there are three major areas of Ethics: Meta-ethics, normative ethics and applied
ethics. Meta-ethics deals with the nature of moral judgements. It looks at the origins and
meaning of ethical principles (e.g. what is Goodness, are moral judgements objective or
subjective? etc.). Normative ethics deals with major ethical theories sometimes called
“normative” because they suggest norms or standards for what we ought to do. Some
theories that the professor mentioned were utilitarianism, deontology and natural law
theory. For example, utilitarianism considers that what is good is what produces the best
consequences or causes the most happiness to the greatest number of people. According
to it, torturing or killing an innocent person would be neither good or bad, it will all depend
on the consequences of the act. On the other hand, Deontology and Natural Law Theory
consider that an action is good or bad according to a set of moral principles and duties, as
well as the intention of the agent. In this case, intentionally killing an innocent person or
torturing people will always be bad regardless of their consequences. In my case, I tend to
be more in favor of the other two, but there are some points about utilitarianism that I
consider worth taking, such as the notion that minimizing pain and suffering is the basic
guide of morality. Finally, applied ethics looks at controversial topics like abortion, animal
rights, climate-change, capital punishment, etc.
The most interesting part for me was the discussion of cases in applied ethics, like capital
punishment, abortion, euthanasia and assisted suicide. For example, the first day of
classes we discussed the topic of Euthanasia and assisted suicide. The question was raised
that if a person/s had a terminal cancer and the pain was unbearable, if they asked you to
receive a lethal dose of a drug to end their suffering would you give it to them or help them
do it? For me personally, I won’t do it (I guess I am against assisted suicide or at least I
won’t assist in their dying), but my mind is divided regarding euthanasia. It is ultimately up
to the person who is suffering to make this decision and I also think that it is immoral to let
someone who is suffering so much to suffer even more. Specially since this illness has no
chance of going away and it is better to leave this world with peace than to go out with
insufferable pain and agony. Perhaps in these cases, people should be given the
opportunity of leaving this world in their own terms. Of course, there is an argument to be
This example is based on real student’s journals
made about the sanctity of life, but what good is life spending your last days in a hospital
bed just waiting to die in agony. Is that life worth living in eternal pain until they pass? I
don’t think so. It is better for them to be at peace and leave in a good state of mind rather
than in a bad state. So perhaps I would be in favor of Euthanasia, although it is difficult to
reconcile my own beliefs with killing people. In any case, it would be better to leave this
discussion until we have discussed the topic in more detail in further classes. I would like to
learn more about the arguments in favor and against it before I make up my mind.
... Isn’t it contradictory that you oppose assisted suicide, but are in favor of Euthanasia?
The reasons that you offer for been in favor of Euthanasia could also apply to assisted
suicide. For example, both of them are related to people who are terminally ill and
suffering from an unbearable amount of pain and agony. In both cases, it is the patient the
one who is asking for an “opportunity of leaving this world in their own terms”. The only
difference is that in Euthanasia the act of killing is made by a person other than the
patient (e.g. the doctor), whereas in Assisted Suicide the patient is the one who commits
the final act, although with the help of another person. Regarding the sanctity of human
life, the same criticism that you raised against it would also apply to both, as ...
Journal entry # y, X of January, 20...
This week we read Fagothey’s Right and Reason and the professor asked us to answer
some questions about the text. ... We also went over customary and reflective morality as
well as the origins of ethics. The difference between customary and reflective morality is
that customary is based on what your guardians tell you or what society presents as
morally right. For instance, a statement rule that says “stealing is wrong” is a customary
morality because it is generally accepted that stealing is an immoral act. According to
Fagotey “Reflective morality is the attempt to find general principles by which to direct and
justify our personal behaviors” (Fagothey, p. xx). I take it to mean that when we analyze
our acts trying to offer arguments based on moral principles that explain why that act is
good or evil, we are practicing reflective morality. For instance, the abortion debate is a
good example of reflective morality.
For those people who defend the right of a woman to procure an abortion, they argue that
the fetus is not yet self-conscious and that given the choice to choose between the life of a
mother and that of an unborn baby we should choose the first one because the rights of a
full person should trump those of a being who is not yet conscious. On the other side,
people who are opposed to abortion consider that every human life is precious and that we
do not have the right to kill an innocent human being. Both of them offer reasonable
arguments to defend one side or the other.
In my case, I have not yet decided which position to support, perhaps I am something in
the middle of the two. I do not consider that allowing abortions for any reason is the right
thing to do. After some months in the womb, fetuses can feel pain and have some form of
self-awareness, so killing them for any reason would not be ethical. On the other hand,
the debate is not clear when we use such terms such as “humans” or “persons”. What does
it mean to be a human being? Perhaps only being part of the human species. What should
be important is how conscious that human is. For example, is it sentient? Is it self-
conscious, has it ever been? The fetus is certainly not yet a full person, but at least it has
some sentience, so it should have some sort of protection. On the other extreme, people
who defend the absolute right to abortion consider that only full persons matter when
making ethical choices; I would remind them that that would allow infanticide, as
newborns are not yet fully developed persons. For these reasons I consider that abortion
should be allowed in some cases, but not in every case. For example, I consider that before
a fetus has some sort of conscience, the mother should be allow to make decisions about
continuing with her pregnancy or terminate it. However, after the fetus has gained some
level of consciousness (e.g. be able to feel pain and have some sort of self-awareness),
abortions should only be permitted for grave reasons, such as the mother risking death for
bearing the child.
As an instance of what is not a good example of reflective morality, I have noticed that
younger persons with minimal income will be more likely to be pro-choice because if they
were put into that situation, they would not be ready to bring a human life into the world
and take care of the child. However, older persons with children are more likely to be pro-
life, since they cannot imagine taking their kids out of their lives. None of these arguments
should be decisive in the debate of abortion. The first is just a monetary argument, and the
second an emotional one. As the professor explained in class, moral arguments should not
be based on a situation that you are personally experiencing or about your personal
feelings because ethics is not about the interests or the benefit of only one person; it is
about the effects of our actions to others and society as a whole.
That is an excellent reflection, Kudos! ... The part that I liked the most was your brief
reflection on the arguments for and against abortion as an example of reflective morality.
Although you focused only on some arguments of the debate, you treated each of them
fairly and showed enough criticism to pinpoint their shortcomings, for example ....
As you have seen, a reflective journal is a personal account of an educational experience
that offers a variety of benefits, from enhancing your writing skills and helping you retain
information to allowing you to express your thoughts on new ideas and theories.
TIPS FOR WRITING YOUR REFLECTIVE JOURNAL
A reflective journal is a steadily growing document that the learner writes to record the progress
of their learning. Learners keep a reflective journal for demonstrating how they have integrated
the knowledge of a course in their own way of thinking.
A reflective journal is not:
simply a summary of the course material. Focus more on your reactions to what you've
read, and what you've been reading.
a learning log. On a learning log you might write down the times and days when you read
something. A log is a record of events, but a journal is a record of your reflections and
thoughts on the topics discussed, as well as the assigned readings.
Entries in a reflective journal can include:
Points that you found specially interesting in your reading, and would like to follow up in
Questions that came up in your mind, because of points made in material you read on this
Some ideas for writing your journal:
Ideas, discussions, concepts or arguments that you have learned in the lesson and have
challenged your way of thinking.
Issues that interested you a lot, and that you would like to discuss in more detail
How to apply the concepts learned in class to your own life and way of thinking, e.g. use
them to present and defend your own point of view about X or W topic
Always challenge yourself to see the other side of the coin and be sure to be fair
when presenting the opposite point of view: e.g.
I am in favor of __ because ... We
should also take into consideration .... However, the argument against __ is quite
convincing, as it states that ... and many people think that ...
What was the most interesting thing I read for this lesson (mark it above with an asterisk) -
why was that?
What were the main things I learned from this lesson?
What did I previously think was true, but now know to be wrong?
What did we not cover that I expected we should?
What was new or surprising to me?
What have I changed my mind about, as a result of this lesson?
I am still unsure about...
What I most liked about what we learned in this lesson was...
Miscellaneous interesting facts I learned in this lesson...
1. Reflection content
integration of acquired
Ability to integrate
learning into real-
world experiences and
analyze issues with a
It addresses and
integrates all the
required topics concepts
and methods discussed
in class and in assigned
It shows an ability to
reflection and deep
thinking about acquired
knowledge. It is written
in a simple, yet
effective way with
practical applications to
real-life problems. It
shows integration with
different issues from
wide range of
societal, etc.); It
thinking skills in
addressing the subjects
and an ability to
knowledge to previous
experiences and ways of
It addresses all the
Content is good;
however, it could
The reflection is
good but could have
It is written well and
clearly, but it
contains a few
The reflection is
neither clear nor
* Highlighted Journal:
Before you submit your reflective journal, you will reread your
entries and, using a highlighter and mark those sections of the journal that directly relate
to concepts discussed in the texts or in class. This makes it easier for the instructor to
identify how students have reflected on their experiences and thinking processes in light of
2. Presentation &
presentation with clear
organization of ideas
presentation of the
highlighted sections of
relate to concepts
discussed in the texts or
in class. *
It is grammatically well
written, with no spelling
or syntax errors and
Writing is well-focused;
precisely defined and
flow in developing an
clearly stated and
Writing flows, but the
articulation of ideas
is not well
and ideas are not
enough to be very
writing lacked an
and the ideas
were hard to
Does not show
Incorporation of the
journal entries into a
of the learning
between journal entries
into a whole;
steps in the
Journal entries can
connected; still able
to observe how the
student develops his
or her knowledge
during the learning
gained from the
entries are mere
than showing a
Not the required
Was it right for a father to kill his daughter because she had a disease and thought she was suffering?
In this case, a father is concerned about his child’s health. Most probably suffering from an incurable disease. The father felt that the continued living of the daughter only prolonged her suffering and there was no hope of her getting healed. From this argument, the father went ahead to kill the daughter. He felt that her death would save her from the suffering that she was going through. Killing her, to him, was just quickening the inevitable fate because that was where she was headed. However, I feel that what this father did was wrong.
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