The moral distinction between killing and letting die in medical cases

Bioethics 22 (5):278–285 (2008)
Abstract
In some medical cases there is a moral distinction between killing and letting die, but in others there is not. In this paper I present an original and principled account of the moral distinction between killing and letting die. The account provides both an explanation of the moral distinction and an explanation for why the distinction does not always hold. If these explanations are correct, the moral distinction between killing and letting die must be taken seriously in medical contexts. Defeasibly, when an agent kills she takes responsibility, but when an agent lets die she does not take responsibility. Therein lies the moral distinction between killing and letting die. The distinction, however, is defeated when an agent is already responsible for the surrounding situation. In such cases, killing does not involve taking any further responsibility and letting die does not avoid taking any responsibility. Medical examples are frequently complicated because patients' autonomous choices impact upon medical practitioners' surrounding responsibility
Keywords end of life  responsibility  Killing  letting die
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 11,819
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Similar books and articles
Analytics

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2009-01-28

Total downloads

80 ( #17,927 of 1,099,963 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

9 ( #28,001 of 1,099,963 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Start a new thread
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.