1) According to Mill, a person should be allowed to do what he/she desires as long as the liberties of others are not infringed. There should be little intervention from other parties (e.g. the government). A person should be lawfully allowed to literally anything they think is correct as long as it does not affect anyone else negatively. With this statement, Mill directly argues against law paternalism and tries to protect individual rights.
To the contrary, this does not apply to children of course. They lack the cognitive capabilities to make informed and sensible decisions. In this case, other parties such as parents or relatives need to step in and take decisions for children. Another exception is mentally handicapped people. Other people need to make rational decisions for these people in order to help and support them to the best of their ability. In other cases, those who are fully capable of making informed decisions may sometimes make decisions, which can cause harm to themselves and others. An example is when someone tries to commit suicide. The police may need to intervene and help that person.
Freedom means lawfully doing whatever you want. However, in the situations described above, other parties do need to limit a person’s autonomy when needed. The government needs to establish laws, which prevent people from doing activities that can put their own lives and other people’s lives in danger and protect other people from crimes. As long as a person does what they want within the limits of the law, Mill’s statement holds true.
2) According to Franklin, scientific explanations and discoveries cannot fully explain certain aspects of life. Her statement conveys the message that there are some mysteries in life, which cannot be solved by science alone. Even after numerous scientific discoveries and breakthroughs (e.g. structure of the atom and DNA), Franklin believes that science is unable to provide answers for many remaining questions.
By life, Franklin could be referring to the origin of everything in the universe. It is true that the most probable answer to the origin of the universe is the Big Bang Theory. However, it is still a theory and there is very little evidence to prove this theory. Another mystery of life could be the origin of all living beings on Earth. How can inorganic molecules come together and produce an organic living being? Such questions, according to Franklin, cannot be answered by science.
On the contrary, science has provided explanations for many things, which were at first, considered to be non-existent. Through rigorous research and experimentation, we were able to realise that every living being has DNA or genetic material, which gives that being its characteristics. It helped to explain why everyone and everything is different from each other. Everything is composed of atoms and atoms are composed of electrons, protons and neutrons. By studying their nature and reactivity with each other, we were able to provide explanations for many things and make discoveries. Therefore, there is a possibility that science can provide explanations for everything in the future.
Franklin lived in the 20th century, which means that she probably thought many things were impossible, which are possible today. Long-distance communication within seconds and travelling to space is quite possible today. Therefore, it is difficult to agree with her statement completely as science is currently progressing faster than ever.
3) Due to the advanced technology and modern treatments available in medicine today, many people believe that any disease is treatable. Routine operations are operations, which do not usually involve many complications and are relatively easy to carry out for a well-trained doctor. Death during such operations is not normal as these operations are carried out after careful planning. Since there is a very low chance that death could occur, people believe that death during routine operations is the medical staff’s fault. A medical error is a preventable adverse effect of care, which could harm the patient. Medical errors could include incomplete diagnosis of disease, injury and infection.
However, this might not be entirely true. Patients, themselves, can be the cause of many complications arising during an operation. Before any operation, patients are given a guideline, which they must follow to ensure the operation goes according to plan. For example, when an operation involves the use of general anaesthesia, the patient must fast for up to 12 hours before the surgery is due. If the patients break this rule and eat just before the surgery, they can risk regurgitation. If this happens, food may enter the patient’s lungs, causing difficulty in breathing and in some cases, death. This cannot be deemed as medical error.
Together with this, there is always a chance of infection during an operation, which can cause death. Doctors are supposed to inform the patients about this chance of infection and that it is not entirely preventable. If an infection occurs even after the surgery had been carried out under hygienic conditions, this is not medical error as the medical staff took all measures to prevent this from happening.
All routine operations must be carried out after careful planning. The patients should be informed about what they should do before and after surgery as this can help to prevent any complications. If a patient dies after a routine operation due to the carelessness of the medical staff, then, of course, this is deemed as a medical error. Therefore, it is difficult to come to a conclusion of whether death after a routine operation is a case of medical error as any surgery or procedure always involves risks. These risks are not entirely preventable by the medical staff.