The Homeless Policy of Mayor Edward Koch

Provide a 5 pages analysis while answering the following question: The Homeless Policy of Mayor Edward Koch. Prepare this assignment according to the guidelines found in the APA Style Guide. An abstract is required. After the psychiatrist’s verdict, they were either to be retained or let off. The Mayor’s argument was that ‘exposing oneself to such imminent danger indicated that one’s reasoning ability was seriously impaired and that one needed to be protected’. The Mayor’s rationale started a public debate on the validity of the mayor’s decision and the dilemma faced by the psychiatrists in assessing the people. The dilemma mainly consisted of their duties as an employee and professional ethics in evaluating antagonized patients.

According to Act Utilitarian of Jeremy Bentham, an action that results in the happiness of one and all is a good act. He said, “when choosing a course of action, one should always pick the one that will maximize happiness and minimize unhappiness for the greatest number of people” (Bentham from Rosenstand p.176).

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Thus it follows that actions that alleviate pain are morally right and it is the duty of every person to realize it. One can claim that the actions of Mayor Koch were for the welfare of the people and his intention was to save the people from the discomfort and extreme pain of the freezing weather conditions. Therefore, Mayor Koch was morally right in his actions by forcing protective custody of the homeless.

Wallace, an eminent social scientist had also propagated that there are no fixed rules and ethical boundaries for the actions of the people. It is the wisdom that is gained through the practical experiences that decide the right course of action that must be followed in different circumstances, adapting to the changing socio-ethical parameters. Also known as Wallace’s theory of ‘ethical contextualization’, Rosen in his book says that Wallace was of the view that ‘intelligent moral behavior is always based on the understanding of how ethical principles have been applied in the past and the ends that have been served by those applications’ (Wallace, 1988).&nbsp.&nbsp.

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