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You wake up in the morning and find yourself back to back in bed with an unconscious violinist. A famous unconscious violinist. He has been found to have a fatal kidney ailment, and the Society of Music Lovers has canvassed all the available medical records and found that you alone have the right blood type to help. They have therefore kidnapped you, and last night the violinist's circulatory system was plugged into yours, so that your kidneys can be used to extract poisons from his blood as well as your own. If he is unplugged from you now, he will die; but in nine months he will have recovered from his ailment, and can safely be unplugged from you.

Is it moral for you to detach yourself from the violinist knowing that it would kill him?


I would feel morally justified in detaching myself. This is an abridgement of your rightful freedoms against your will. You didn't ask or consent to this situation, you were forced into this moral quandary. You have no obligation here.

But, I would personally strongly consider staying the course, because I value human life a lot. It might depend on other factors as well, I assume that an organization that could pull this off has resources, so there must be a compensation they would offer for my cooperation. Otherwise they'd probably have just killed me for my kidneys, or at least strapped me down to prevent me from resisting.


>Is it moral for you to detach yourself from the violinist knowing that it would kill him?
Yes. Use of force, even deadly force if necessary, is justified to restore one's liberty if involuntarily infringed.


It's not exactly categorically moral, because that implies the act is always good, but it's morally permissible to you, I would say, as long as your moral system always or sometimes values bodily autonomy equally or more than the right to life, which I think is the question relevant to this hypotethetical in relation to abortion, not whether it is morally good or not.


Why didn't the just ask me about this? If the violinist is famous, he probably could have paid me a handsome sum for this.

I have to agree with the others here. I'm not sure it's "moral" to do unhook yourself, but it certainly isn't immoral. You were forced into this situation against your will and it infringes on your rights as a person.

That said, I'd ask how much it was worth to him to live before deciding to unhook us. And I'd want prompt, weekly payments the whole time we were connected.


>Is it moral for you to detach yourself from the violinist knowing that it would kill him?
Sure.  But I know leverage when I see it.  This guy's probably rich, right?  So what's the going hourly rate for...kidney function?


Yeah. I think you could even make a case for just straight up smothering the guy, given the whole kidnapping and invasive surgery thing.
I'd say you could make a decent argument for self defense.


>Yeah. I think you could even make a case for just straight up smothering the guy, given the whole kidnapping and invasive surgery thing.

I suppose it wasn't entirely clear in the example, but it was not the guy you're hooked to that kidnapped you.  He is also a victim of the kidnapper, it just so happens that he was kidnapped in order to save his life.


So you're asking if two people are kidnapped, and one person is put into a position where his life depends on the actions of the other person, is that other person morally obligated to fulfill that action to keep them alive, even at the cost of their own freedoms?


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Yeah, that's more the question.  To refer to the example, lets imagine that everyone agrees the kidnapper was in the wrong for kidnapping and the police bust down the door to rescue you and the kidnapper is beaten down and arrested.

Now you're still hooked up to this guy who'll die if you don't stay hooked up to him, neither of you are at fault for this predicament.  Is it moral to disconnect yourself from this second victim knowing it will kill him?


I think it could be justifiable, but not necessarily "moral". I live by a personal code of ethics that says that if someone has the power and the means to help others, then have an obligation to do so, so long as no harm comes to them in doing so.

So whether this constitutes as that depends on one person's personal definition of "harm". To me, being hooked up to the guy doesn't "harm" you. It inconveniences you, probably annoys you, but it doesn't cause you physical pain or damage your body, we assume. But to another person, being hooked up to him might constitute as "harm" because maybe they have obligations they can no longer fufil while doing this. Maybe they have issues with being put in this situation against their will. It all depends. But ME, in this situation... I couldn't bring myself to unhook him. Especially if he was conscious and was asking me not to. But I'd expect to be compensated for this in any way the violinist could.


In that case, it's not immoral. That doesn't make it good, but, I'd say it falls under neutral.
You couldn't straight up murder him, but, you do not have any more responsibility to keep him alive, than you'd have to feed a starving person.


It obviously causes both emotional harm and physical harm, though.

You're never going to feel safe again, you'll always be worried that you'll be kidnapped again, and god help you if the violinist had any kind of bloodborne disease, parasites or if the procedure causes an autoimmune response of any kind, or if your kidneys are caused some kind of damage from the overwork they've now been put on. not to mention, an incision or an insertion had to be made somewhere, so your circulatory systems could be connected, exposing you to infection and other problems.

Add to this that you can't exercise for nine months, you can't hardly do anything, and your mental and physical faculties are almost certainly going to atrophy as a result, plus, if you do unplug yourself, and you're not a total unempathetic asshole, you're at least going to feel a twinge of guilt or letdown, over having to be the one to pull the plug. You're forced into a situation where harm will almost certainly come to you, that's effectively the same as doing harm and actually a pretty large amount of it.


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What method of morality are we operating under?

The question of if something is moral depends entirely on what moral code you're working under.

In mine, if I do not personally know the violinist, do not personally have a connection to them, or a personal reason to want them to stay alive, I would detach. My morality dictates that my life is the most important one, but I would make exceptions to that rule for people I have vested interest in, or personal relationships with.

ah damn i got the shitty animal this time


Yes. It is moral. You have no duty to this person in the first place, and on top of that, you were kidnapped and assaulted. You owe nothing to this person, and the fact that neither the violinist nor this group that wants to keep him alive has offered you so much as a cent for your valuable amd unique blood, and is more or less stealing your body from you, when if they have the means to track down amd kidnap you, they have the means to make a reasonable offer to you, makes your duty to them even shaker. Any and all responsibility for what happens lies with the kidnappers.

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