The Movie “Blood Work” Deontological And Utilitarian Analysis

2174 words - 9 pages

When we analyze the movie, Blood Work, simultaneously while taking into regard both Deontological and Utilitarian points of view, we notice a complex behavior in all characters involved, especially Terry McCaleb. The main character, Terry McCaleb, has the most complex behavior of all as he has the tendency to jump the fine border between Deontology and Utilitarianism multiple times back and forth.
Throughout the entire movie, McCaleb faces multiple Deontological dilemmas but the biggest and most important of all of them is his decision to self-sacrifice for the good of others. He makes a selfless decision which could have very well cost him his life. We need to take under consideration ...view middle of the document...

He notices a child in a room with his father by his bed-side and immediately starts to wonder why the child had not received the heart instead of him. This is a highly moral, gallant way of thinking and falls right in line with the basic Deontological principle of following the Categorical Imperative. According to Kant, “the moral worth of an action is determined by one’s motive and not by the consequences of the action.” (Pg.354 A Biography of Immanuel Kant)
In his case, McCaleb thought that the child in need of a transplant deserved the new heart more than he. The underlined consequences of such thinking meant that he would have not survived without receiving the transplant. The categorical imperative states that “an action should be “Universalizable” and the personal policy (maxim) on which our action is based must be one that we could consistently will that all persons follow” (Pg. 354 a Biography of Immanuel Kant) McCaleb’s way of thinking was a noble one and it can be “Universalizable”. This would mean that any individual could apply McCaleb’s way of thinking and achieve the same good will results.
Next, we see McCaleb talking to the sister of the heart donor who was suffering in grief of her murdered sibling. She approaches McCaleb and demands that he should be the one looking for her sister’s killer since McCaleb now has her sister’s heart beating inside his chest. McCaleb feels a sense of duty and starts to apply his talents that he had developed while working with the FBI to look for the killer of his heart donor. There are two factors in this paragraph that are to be considered as Deontological concepts. The first one is McCaleb acting out of a sense of duty from good will. Kant says that “a good will is not of what it affects or accomplishes to attain some proposed end but only because of its volition that it is good in itself and is regarded for itself…., if it should yet achieve nothing and only the good were left,….. it would still shine by itself in something that has it’s full worth in itself.” (Pg.355 Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals, Immanuel Kant)
Even if McCaleb were to not find the murderer, lose health, time and money on the way, the core intention of his actions would still stand out as noble and shine by itself.
The second factor is, McCaleb acting out of duty towards his own self. If we are to think of McCaleb as a former FBI agent, it means that he has a set of skills and talents that are superior to a normal everyday civilian. This factor adds a second Deontological point to this part of the movie. McCaleb would have not been asked to take part in such search of the unknown if he was a baker or a painter. At the time that he was approached by the victim’s sister, he was living comfortably in his boat nursing to his medical recovery. The victim’s sister brings up his talents during their initial conversation as a mere fact in order to convince him to take the case. McCaleb acknowledges his talents and we...

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