THE MISSING POST—“…IT IS DIFFERENT WHEN IT IS YOUR MOTHER.” I have discovered that I did not post on January 11. I try to post every day. After some digging, I found the following draft of what I had intended for January 11:

“…IT IS DIFFERENT WHEN IT IS YOUR MOTHER.” The statement that “It’s different when it is your wife” reminded me of a famous quote from Peter Singer, the moral philosopher, who is Professor of Bioethics at Princeton University. The quote was in this article in 1999 in the New Yorker by Michael Specter. I would characterize Singer as an extreme utilitarian. Specter paraphrases Singer: “When the death of a disabled infant will lead to the birth of another infant with better prospects of a happy life, the total amount of happiness [or “utility”] will be greater if the disabled infant is killed…..a human’s life is not necessarily more sacred than a dog’s, and…it might be more compassionate to carry out medical experiments on hopelessly disabled, unconscious orphans than on perfectly healthy rats.”

Yet, when the article was written, Singer’s mother had Alzheimer’s and could no longer recognize her children or grandchildren. Singer and his sister were spending large amounts of money for her care. Specter concludes his article by quoting Singer about his mother: “‘I think this has made me see how the issues of someone with these kinds of problems are really very difficult,’ he said quietly. ‘Perhaps it is more difficult than I thought before, because it is different when it’s your mother.'”

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