Scenario #4 When two plainclothes detectives arrived at Virginia Crawford?s suburban apartment at 6:30 on a Sunday morning to arrest her for murder, she was not surprised to see them. She cried when they insisted on putting her in handcuffs before transporting her to the jail in the county court building. Yet she had more or less expected to be arrested eventually. For almost a month, a police investigation had been conducted at Mercy Hospital, where Ms. Crawford worked as a nurse in the intensive-care unit (ICU). The entire hospital staff knew about the investigation, and Ms. Crawford herself had been questioned on three occasions by officers conducting the inquiry. At the time, her answers had seemed to be satisfactory to the police, and there was no hint that she was under suspicion. Still, she always believed that eventually they would catch up with her. The investigation centered on the deaths of four elderly patients during the period from February 1979 to March 1980. All of the patient were in ICU the times of their deaths. Each had been diagnosed as suffering from a terminal illness, and the chart notation on each case indicated that they had all suffered irreversible brain damage and were totally without higher-brain functions. The three women and one man were all unmarried and had no immediate family to take an interest in their welfare. All of them were being kept alive by respirators, and their deaths were caused directly by their respirators being turned off. In each instance of death, Ms. Crawford had been the person in charge of the ICU. After securing the services of an attorney, Ms. Crawford was released on bail, and a time was set for her appearance in court. Through her attorney, Marvin Washington, she made a statement to the media. ?My client has asked me to announce that she fully and freely admits that she was the one who turned off the respirators of the four patients in question at Mercy Hospital. She acted alone and without the knowledge of any other individual. She is prepared to take full responsibility for her actions.? Mr. Washington went on to say that he would request a jury trial for his client. ?I am sure,? he said, ?that no jury will convict Ms. Crawford of murder merely for turning off the life-support systems of people who were already dead.? When asked what he meant by that, Mr. Washing ton explained. ?These patients were no longer people,? he said. ?Sometime during the course of the treatment, their brains simply stopped functioning in a way that we associate with human life.? Ms. Crawford was present during the reading of her statement, and after a whispered conversation with her attorney, she spoke once for herself. ?I consider what I did an act of compassion and humanity,? she said. ?I feel no guilt about it. I did for four people what they would have wanted done, if they had only been in a condition to know.? Virgina Crawford was an ICU nurse and was arrested in connection with causing the deaths of several people by turning off their respirators. Those people were believed by nurse Crawford to be beyond cure and in an irreversible coma. Were her actions morally correct? How would someone respond to this question using the ethical principles of: (Respond using the principles of KANTIAN?
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