In “The Magnificent Seven,” the original classic, not last year’s disappointing re-make, Harry Luck (Brad Dexter) had always been convinced that the real reason the Seven had agreed to help a poor Mexican village fight a predatory bandit band was because the town had a secret treasure to share. (It didn’t.) Harry refuses to join the rest as they make one desperate effort to help the farmers, then at the peak of the gunfire gallops back into the village to join the battle–and is promptly shot. Dying, he begs Chris (Yul Brenner) to confirm his suspicions…
Harry Luck: Chris… I hate to die a sucker. We didn’t come here just to keep an eye on a lot of corn and chili peppers, did we? There was something else all along, wasn’t there?
Chris: Yes, Harry. You had it pegged right all along.
Harry: I knew it. What was it?
Chris: Gold. Sacks of it.
Harry: Sounds… beautiful. How much?
Chris: At least a hundred and fifty.
Harry: My cut would have been what?
Chris: About seventy thousand.
Harry: I’ll be damned. (He dies)
Chris: Maybe you won’t be.
Today’s news has another story involving lying to a dying man, a really stupid story.
Michael Garland Elliott, 75, died of congestive heart failure in his Oregon home ,surrounded by his caregivers, neighbors and friends. Right before the end, his ex-wife,spoke with him over the phone from her home in Austin, Texas.
She told him that President Trump had been impeached. “I knew it was his very, very last moments,” Teresa Elliott told reporters. “I knew that would bring him comfort and it did. He then took his final breath.”
Your Ethics Alarms Ethics Quiz of the Day is…
Is it ethical to lie to dying friends and loved ones?
The liar in this story of Love And Trump Derangement described her ex-husband as a “news junkie,” though apparently one who was stump ignorant about history, the Constitution, what constitutes impeachable offenses and the news over the past four months. Maybe he was fan of Maxine Waters.
“If I could leave him with a happy piece of news then why wouldn’t I?” Theresa said. “And maybe in the end it won’t turn out to be a lie.”
This was obviously a real swift couple. See, Theresa, if it’s a lie when you say it, subsequent events can’t make it a non-lie. Never mind; this is obviously too complicated for you.
As for your question, the answer is, “Because it’s a lie.” Why is it acceptable to leave a loved one with a lie? Is it better than other lies because they will never discover you lied to them, being dead and all? Is that the theory?
If it is, why not go whole hog? Why stop with simply satisfying Michael’s Trump-hate? Tell him the doctors says he’s going to recover. Tell him his kids just won the lottery. Tell him Jesus is in the parlor and says that there will be peace and prosperity for all time, starting now. What’s the difference? if you are going to lie to loved one and think that’s a wonderful thing to do, why not go big?
How about this: if feel you have to lie, at least make it a less insulting lie than “They impeached Trump.”