Anyway, two medical ethicists examine the topic. Anna Smajdor concludes:
Irwin spent much of his life bringing to a wider public a vision of "nature red in tooth and claw", no fluffy bunnies or cute kittens here. His programmes were not for the squeamish, but portrayed wild animals capable of killing a man.Daniel Sokol disagrees, even though Irwin himself once said, "If I'm going to die, at least I want it filmed."
The footage of Irwin's death is his ultimate message to us of the ruthlessness and power that we admire and fear in nature.
Should you, the viewer, watch the footage?And remember, you can't unwatch it. Once the real image is in your head -- replacing the fuzzy visualization you have now -- it will always be there. Maybe you've yielded and watched some gruesome video on the web -- perhaps a beheading. I haven't, partly because I've never gotten over what I was raised to believe, that it is wrong to go looking out of curiosity, but also because I want to protect myself from the lingering image.
The answer depends on your motives. Are you a marine biologist or ethologist (someone who studies animal behaviour) eager to understand the defensive behaviour of a frightened stingray? Are you a cardiologist or toxicologist interested in aspects of the injury itself?
Before watching the footage, we should ask ourselves: why do I want to watch this? I suspect many people would answer "for entertainment" or "out of curiosity"
It may well harm the watcher, whose humanity and moral sensibility will suffer.
I should add that I've changed my view about averting your eyes from something you're seeing that you haven't sought out. I greatly admire people -- like doctors and nurses -- who have work to do and deal with what they need to see to do it. And I think squeamishness is a childish character flaw that should be overcome.