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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Hypothermia particularly in severe cases is rightly considered a malady in Bio Technology

An important part of the definition offered by Gert is that for a condition to be considered a malady there must be an absence of an external distinct sustaining cause. There must not be a cause that is linked to the condition in such a way that the harm or evil associated with the condition is only present when the cause is and if the cause is removed then so too is the harm or evil associated with the condition. For a condition to count as a malady, the harm caused by the condition must still be present even if the cause of the condition is removed. For example, suppose I apply an electrical current to you cause to pain without doing any actual damage to you either mentally or physically. Furthermore this pain does not remain after the removal of the current. Even though while I was administering the current you would be suffering pain, which as has been shown is a harm or evil, which should be avoided, you could not be said to be suffering from a malady. For as soon as I removed the current, the pain would also cease. The harmful condition pain, would have a distinct sustaining cause, that of the electricity that I am passing through your body. If, however, by passing an electrical current through your body on a number of occasions, I caused a harmful condition, either physical (there was actual damage to parts of your body, such as burn, or organs whose activities were compromised) or mental (a rational fear of being in a room with strangers with electrical cables) that continued after the current stopped, then you could be suffering from a malady. A more problematic example may be that of hypothermia, where it could be suggested that the sustaining cause is intense cold and if that is removed then so is the hypothermia, and so hypothermia does not count as a malady. This however is not entirely correct, unlike in the case of non-harmful electroshock, when a person is removed from intense cold, the condition does not abate immediately. In fact hypothermia may actually cause long-term damage to the person’s body. It is possible therefore that hypothermia particularly in severe cases is rightly considered a malady.

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