- Thu Aug 01, 2019 11:57 am
Thanks for the question, dbrowning! The stimulus tells us that this is a student experiment for the purpose of observing the effects of shock. The authors believe (and I agree with them) that it is a reasonable assumption that this experiment is not in any way tied to the "immediate" assistance of other living beings. It's research that may or may not have some lifesaving application later in Mary's career. We aren't being told about an imminent medical emergency, and so we should not assume there is one. On the contrary, we should assume there is NOT one, because if there was then they would surely have said so!
This experiment is NOT about immediate assistance of anything or anyone, and that triggers the contrapositive of answer B and proves that the experiment would not be justifiable. Mary's decision is in accord with that principle.
On the other hand, looking at answer A, there is no reason to assume (and therefore we should not assume) that the dog will feel any pain. The stimulus says the dog is anesthetized, which generally means that they are unconscious and can feel nothing. That's what anesthesia does, after all! Also, Mary isn't considering "gratuitously" doing anything - she would have a good reason for doing the experiment as part of her educational process, and that is the opposite of acting gratuitously. Answer A is problematic on both those fronts, as well as the vague aspect of "all other things being equal". Are they? We don't know. What does that even mean? Does the potential outcome for her, possibly being a well-prepared veterinarian, mean all other things are equal, or not equal? What a mess that phrase is for us!
Adam M. Tyson
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