The Quadruple Bypass Burger Dilemma

In Fitness for Life class today we were discussing health trends in America and in particular, the startling fact that even with all the advances in medicine, the next generation is probably going to be the first in a long time to have a shorter lifespan than their parents! Basically, all the drugs and work-around surgeries in the world aren't going to keep us alive if we insist on maintaining current lifestyle trends (obesity, type II diabetes, etc.)

Somebody brought up an interesting question related to this. Imagine that you have coronary artery disease and your kidneys are failing, etc, because you just couldn't give up your Quadruple Bypass Burger (below) and the only thing keeping you alive is a fistful of pills every day. If you decided that you don't want to take all those drugs anymore and you die because of it, are you responsible for your own death? In other words, would it be correct to say that you had committed suicide? Or perhaps you're more at fault for the lifestyle choices that put you in said position.
I'll be interested to hear what you guys think.

By the way, if you want to see a truly frightening powerpoint presentation, click here.



  1. You know, I almost think my linked addition at the bottom deserves a post of itself. Seriously, that's a very very scary array of information. I hope everybody watches it. (especially you Karissa, being a nutrition major:)

  2. The problem you present is related to the life boat fallacy.
    In real life, there is always an element of the unknown. What if God, (through some miricle) saved the burger eaters life? What if B.E. got deathly ill, barfed himself thin, and fully recovered? You never know. People often try to reduce moral problems to two morally repungent options, when in reality, the options remain unlimited it. What about slowly cutting back on the number of pills?
    It's still a good question. The Supreme Court has said that folks have a constitutional right to refuse treatment, but not a constitutional right to assisted suicide. It's only one step removed, but, like many things in life, the means may be as morally important as the ends.

  3. Excellent point. Thank you Paul!


Sorry - I was getting too many spam comments so I turned on moderation. As long as you're not a bot or a troll, I'll approve your comment :)