In the movie “John Q” and the story “Mirror Image’, individuals compromise their values when making unethical decisions. After learning that Mikey was being released from the hospital, John made the decision to do anything he possibly could to get Mikey’s name on the donor recipient list. John decided that there was only one way to get that to happen, so he took a chance, closed down the hospital, and took whoever was inside as a hostage. John was willing to sacrifice the lives of eleven people to save the life of his son, eclaring that if Mikeys name was not on the donor list he would “kill one of [the] hostages”.
However, the decision John made, threatening the lives of many was not ethical because one individual’s life is not worth more than another individual’s life. John does not think of how the death of one of the hostages may affect the hostage’s family, he is only thinking about Mikey and his own family. Similarly in “Mirror Images”, when Gail’s mother, Mrs. Jarred, finds out that Gail’s body had been resurrected she was not emotionally prepared. She was furious and upset because she didnt know [the doctors] were going to bring her back to life with some new brain” (pl 5).
Mrs. Jarred has to live with the fact that “[her daughter] Our Gail is alive and living and [she] I’m not even allowed to see her’ (pl 5). Mrs. Jarred does not think of how Alice’s family is reacting to the brain transplant. She is only thinking of herself and not realizing that they must be going through great difficulties just like her and her husband. When individuals have difficulties making decisions hey need influence from something or someone else. Individuals may rely on external sources when making unethical choices.
John’s decision to give his heart to Mikey derived from the fact that a sniper had shot him. If not for that event, John may have not thought about giving his heart to Mikey. Similarly to how John made his decision, Alice made her opinion from an external source. Before meeting Mr. Jarred, Alice was not sure who she was. She was confused about her identity and about whether she was her own self or if she was Gail. After meeting Gail’s father, Mr. Jarred, and having a conversation with him, Alice realizes who she really is.
Mr. Jarred looks into Alices eyes and “didnt see [his] 8). From Mr. Jarred’s statement Alice discovers that “[she] Alice was 8) and the self- conflict she had with her identity was resolved. From the influence of others, Alice made her own opinion, and John made a decision. Although external sources tend to make individuals choices and opinions change, some individuals lie because they think they are shielding others from harm. Parents are dishonest because they think they are protecting their children.
Ying in order to spare someone from harm is unethical because if that individual finds out the truth later it may hurt them even more and could possibly risk relationships and more. In “John Q”, John and his wife, Denise, both lie to Mikey when he asks “am I going to die”. Denise and John think they are protecting Mikey from worrying. However, if they had told him that he was going to die or they were unsure, Mikey would have been able to make his last moments alive worthwhile.
Likewise, in “Mirror Image”, Alice’s mother does not tell Alice how she really feels about the brain transplant that resulted Alice to have another person’s body. Instead she tells Alive that ‘the human body is incredibly adaptable”(p14) and encourages her cheerlead, emphasizing to her that “… cheerleading would be very good for [Alice’s] your 7). Alice’s mother thinks she is sparing Alice’s feelings, but by not saying that she thinks that “[Alice is] not really the same daughter she knew before”(pl 7) she risks her relationship with her daughter.
Alice may not trust or feel confident around her mother because Alice does realize that her mother feels this way. Being dishonest to protect someone may not end up protecting them, but rather it might hurt them further like in “John Q” and “Mirror Image”. Both Alice and Mikey are put into the position where both their parents lie to them to spare their feelings, however the lies they were told resulted in hurting them further. Beliefs and morals of individuals are negotiated when they make unethical choices.