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Bioethics for Halloween

By Michael Cook

Should zombies be euthanased?

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.

Halloween seems an appropriate time to raise the sensitive topic of zombie euthanasia. Kyle Munkittrick, of Pop Bioethics, has outlined the bioethical principles involved.

Experts say that a zombie apocalypse is only a remote possibility on current trends, but it is not impossible. In fact, according to a survey carried out by the Committee to Reelect President Obama, about 49.4% of Americans are already zombies. A poll commissioned by the Committee to elect Mitt Romney found that the figure is about 49.3%. Clearly, if either of these figures is correct, the price for unpreparedness could be high.

There are, says Munkittrick, three principles involved in deciding whether zombies may be ethically shot, beheaded, incinerated, etc: the dignity of the body, the state of the infection, and the zombie’s potential for recovering consciousness.

Dignity of the body: a zombie has none. De-animating a zombie restores its dignity. “Therefore, it is acceptable to lobotomize, ignite, and/or puree the zombie without violating your Kantian commitment to the dignity of the body.”

The state of the infection. The situations of people who have been recently infected, who are in transition to zombiehood, or who are fully-committed zombies are different. But the safest course of action is immediate euthanasia.

Consciousness. Even if zombiehood is reversible,...

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.