The film about ‘Three Identical Strangers’ talks about three identical brothers who were intentionally separated at birth only to meet each other as strangers at the age of nineteen. Although the involved scientists and researchers, including Dr. Peter Neubauer aimed at studying the effect of nature and nurture to the lives of identical twins, their research posed much harm to the three identical twins including Kellman, Shafran, and Galland. Based on Dr. Deni Elliot’s Systematic Moral Analysis, the research did not consider the harm that may result from launching the study. According to Systematic Moral Analysis, the study was not morally acceptable. This is because the Systematic Moral Analysis were not followed, including analysis of those who are likely to be harmed and determining their contribution to the anticipated harm. In this case, Dr. Peter Neubauer could have used another approach to study the identical triplets rather than separating them
First of all, the first step of Systematic Moral Analysis involves making an inquiry of those who are likely to be harmed by the intended study. Dr. Deni Elliot came up with ten moral rules that can direct researchers to avoid causing harm. Among the ten rules, seven were negative practices while three were positive rules. The negative rules included avoiding cheating, causing pain, and denying others freedom. However, Dr. Peter Neubauer and his team subjected the identical twins to these practices. They denied them the freedom to see each other for nineteen years, caused psychological pain which led to one of them committing suicide, and also cheated to them by hiding the truth about them. In this regard, Dr. Nuebauer should haveconsidered the harm that the study triplets could undergo later. As a result, he could have initiated another approach to this study such as separating the siblings temporary rather than for a whole nineteen years.
The second step of the Systematic Moral Analysis involves the justification of those who are responsible for the harm. In the case of Dr. Nuebauer and other researchers, understanding that they could be responsiblefor any harm to the triplets could have helped them to avoid their act of separating them after birth. Thus, they could have avoided the harm they caused to them. Instead, they could have stuck to their positive duty of researching without causing harm such as not lying to them by hiding the truth about their separation. Besides, they could have obeyed the law and the majority opinion by not separating the triplets since it resulted in psychological problems which made one of them to commit suicide. As such, the researchers could have realized that their actions were not morally right and so they needed to clarify from others before starting their research.
A further step in the Systematic Moral Analysis involves the justification of the harm caused by the study. This step is important as it helps in assessing the risks that might result from making a certain move. Thus, justifying the extent of harm to the triplets could have enabled Dr. Nuebauer and other researchers to avoid breaking the moral rules such as cheating to the triplets, denying them freedom, and causing pain to them. Since the researchers were qualified scientists, they could have stuck to the ten rules so as to avoid the impending harm. The moral rules could have motivated them to do right as far as the study was concerned. Consequently, the outcomes such as psychological pain to the triplets could have been avoided. As shown earlier, the major cause of harm to the triplets was separation and the act of manipulating them to meet later on as strangers. Thus, understanding the moral rules and the consequences of breaking them could have enabled the research team to predict the impending harm and avoid their study strategies.
In essence, applying the Systematic Moral Analysis technique enables people to identify alternative courses of certain happenings that cause harm to others. It is based on derived evidence that reveals what is expected at the end of research. Besides, it aims at substantiating morality in every activity that people engage in. Therefore, such an approach could have helped Dr. Nuebauer to realize the harm that accompanied the project and develop alternatives.
Since Dr. Nuebauer did not consider the systematic moral analysis approach, he barely protected the most vulnerable. For instance, one of the triplets committed suicide due to the psychological problems resulting from long-term separation from his two identical twins. Although he achieved some of his research objectives through the realized connection among the identical strangers, the negative impacts resulting from the study shows that he failed to protect those who enriched his research. As such, the researchers could have observed the psychological status of the triplets during the study period to determine any deterioration as this could have also prevented the harm that resulted later. In short, Dr. Nuebauer failed to identify the risks accompanying his research with the triplets.
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