Imagine, for example, of a person with multiple personalties who during the course of treatment, it is decided that only one personality can survive? How do we choose which personality survives and which dies? In actually, personalities often have to be merged together, where they all ‘die’ in a certain sense. In a realistic sense, the person is dying and being replaced with a new person!
Indeed, societies can selectively choose certain types of citizens!
The question seems highly hypothetical, but, it seems to resonate with me along the lines of coercion.
Using your example, say, someone who has a mental illness seeks help. He works with a therapist. Said therapist runs client through a battery of harmful therapies that degrade, demean, or “break” the individual, then that would be immoral. If said therapist psychologically forces change on an individual, that would be wrong.
I think other ideas related to this would be: brainwashing, psychological torture, mental torture.
It seems that one thing your question brings up that I don’t address here is: who is that individual, if he has several personalities? (Perhaps the best recourse is to respect all these personalities, until a dominant one or few emerge.)
I am just wondering where does a personality originate? Can the person has multiple personalities? What constitute a human personality? Are there influential factors. I guess this a kind a psychological therapy. The science is helpful to those who need of treatment if they have reached a disordered level; psychological disorder. However can a personality be killed? I don’t think so.
Anyone suffering from a multiple personality disorder will be treated, not by a Psychologist, but by a Psychiatrist who is a Medical Doctor, The reason being that this condition is considered to be a very serious condition by the Medical Profession and is not treatable by a Psychologist who is essentially a lay person.
Who are you to dispute the decisions of a Medical professional? Would you dispute the decision of a Doctor setting a broken bone or setting up a treatment regime for a cancer patient? Then why would you dispute a Doctor healing someones mind?
This disorder is not what is portrayed in movies and TV, and it is not as common as writers would have you think. In all cases it is a very serious condition in which the individual with this condition has to be hospitalized or severly medicated for their own safety, as well as the safety of others.
Psychatrists are trained to not only diagnose this condition, but also how to determine which of the personalities of the patient is their true personality. The doctor rarely will do this by him/herself, but will do so in consultation with other Psychiatrists.
As to the morality of this, it is no more moral or amoral than any other medical treatment that does not destroy human life.
There are specified specialists on the matter which I have in mind in the word ‘psychology’ and ‘science’. If the case is really a highly recommended profile for treatment, other specialized personnel is required like real medical doctors who are really specialized on personalities - psychiatrist, neurologist and brain specialists. When the case involved in mental symptoms and personality, I think an exorcist might be also consulted because not all cases of mental illness are psychological.The moral of it is to consult all related personnel in order to provide treatment and protection for human life but not to destroy as in some cases by a ‘doctor’
I think that a medical condition of ‘multiple personality disorder’ probably qualifies the ‘personalities’ concerned as not being ‘authentic’ in the sense of being able to be ‘killed’. More that they are expressions of a pathology at work that is masking the true personality underneath.
I don’t think there is any moral danger in treating such people so that they are able to express their personhood truthfully and consistently. Setting up a moral question about these supposed ‘personalities’ might actually put a barrier in the way of a person becoming healed. We should also be careful of what we propose on forums such as this, since this strays into the territory of medical advice, which isn’t permitted.
A little knowledge, can be a dangerous thing.
Let’s get it now from the pros… webmd.com/mental-health/dissociative-identity-disorder-multiple-personality-disorder?page=4
I am actually a mental health counselor, supervised, though. So while I shared my thought on the matter in a fairly casual manner, I do have some four years experience from the mental health field to cull from. As a friend reminds me, verba volant, scripta manent, which I simply take to mean in the limited sense of thoughtful writing.