Are any of these three scenes morally permissible?
The titular character of Lawrence of Arabia deliberately shoots and kills his mortally-wounded adopted son, Farraj, while escaping, to save him from certain torture at the hands of the closely pursuing enemies. Farraj begged his father to kill him.
In Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men, George deliberately shoots and kills his low-IQ friend Lenny in the back, after Lenny accidentally killed the bosses’ wife. George desires to avoid the likely scenario where Lenny would likely be lynched or worse had he not killed his friend. Too much speculation on George’s behalf?
In the movie Spartacus, the titular character kills his dear friend in arena combat since the Roman authority has declared the winner will be crucified (and I believe both will be crucified if they refuse to fight). He wants to help his friend avoid that horrible fate.
The analysis appears different than the more common assisted suicide analysis since the victim will not die by natural means, bur rather is a (virtually) condemned man, fairly or no, by the state or the most controlling local authority. On the other hand, this is different than the moral status of an executioner since the homocide is determined by private means, not the state. Where does Augustine’s “love, and do as you will…” figure into this analysis? Does it break down here? Were the protagonists not acting out of true love?