On a TV show, an army surgeon performed an unnecessary operation on a battalion commander to remove him from battle during the time he would need to recuperate from the surgery. As a result of over-aggressiveness, the battalion commander had an abnormally high casualty rate among his men, and the surgeon knew that by performing the operation he would probably save the lives of hundreds of soldiers. A fellow surgeon counseled him that it was unethical to operate on a healthy body even under those circumstances. Nevertheless, the operating surgeon, feeling that more good than bad would come out of his action, performed the operation anyway.

To what extent do you feel each surgeon was right in his moral position? Do you feel that in this case “the good end” justified the means used by the operating surgeon? Explain your views with reasons.

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