David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Analysis 58 (2):152–158 (1998)
Suppose that a very large number of people, say one billion, will suffer a moderately severe headache for the next twenty-four hours. For these billion people, the next twenty-four hours will be fairly unpleasant, though by no means unbearable. However, there will be no side-effects from these headaches; no drop in productivity in the work-place, no lapses in concentration leading to accidents, no unkind words spoken to loved ones that will later fester. Nonetheless, it is clearly desirable that these billion people avoid the headaches. Even though the headaches are moderate, they are impervious to pain-killing drugs, acupuncture, transcendental meditation, and just about any other remedy. In fact, there is only one way in which the headaches can be avoided. In a remote South American village, a young woman, Agnes, is suffering from a fever. A simple dose of antibiotics will save her life, otherwise she will die. If, and only if, she dies, the billion headaches will be prevented. You just happen to be passing through the village, in full knowledge of the circumstances. Although not a doctor (and therefore not bound by codes of professional ethics, Hippocratic oaths, etc.), you possess the requisite dose of antibiotics, for which you have no other use, and which will become useless, if not used in the next two hours.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
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
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Bernward Gesang (2013). What Climate Policy Can a Utilitarian Justify? Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 26 (2):377-392.
Alastair Norcross (2012). Puppies, Pigs, and Potency: A Response to Galvin and Harris. Ethics, Policy and Environment 15 (3):384 - 388.
Similar books and articles
John Appiah-Poku, Sam Newton & Nancy Kass (2011). Participants' Perceptions of Research Benefits in an African Genetic Epidemiology Study. Developing World Bioethics 11 (3):128-135.
Alastair Norcross (1997). Comparing Harms: Headaches and Human Lives. Philosophy and Public Affairs 26 (2):135–167.
Erik Carlson (2000). Aggregating Harms - Should We Kill to Avoid Headaches? Theoria 66 (3):246-255.
Ilchi Lee (2009). Meridian Exercise for Self-Healing: Classified by Common Symptoms: Back Pain, Headaches, Colds, Flu, Joint and Muscle Pain, Insomnia. Best Life Media.
Stephen P. Stich (1980). Headaches. Philosophical Books 21:65-73.
Robert Martensen (2008). A Philosopher and Her Headaches: The Tribulations of Anne Conway. Philosophical Forum 39 (3):315-326.
Teri Stratton (1992). Headaches or Headless: Who Is Poet Enough? Hypatia 7 (2):109 - 119.
Paolo Cherchi Usai (2001). The Death of Cinema: History, Cultural Memory, and the Digital Dark Age. Bfi Pub..
Dale Dorsey (2009). Headaches, Lives and Value. Utilitas 21 (01):36-.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads48 ( #41,780 of 1,679,344 )
Recent downloads (6 months)12 ( #19,475 of 1,679,344 )
How can I increase my downloads?