Bioethics 22 (5):278–285 (2008)
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)|
References found in this work BETA
Why Does Removing Machines Count as “Passive” Euthanasia?Patrick D. Hopkins - 1997 - Hastings Center Report 27 (3):29-37.
Killing and Letting Die: The Similarity Criterion.Joachim Asscher - 2007 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 24 (3):271–282.
Are 'Killing' and 'Letting Die' Adequately Specified Moral Categories?Michael Philips - 1985 - Philosophical Studies 47 (1):151 - 158.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Moral Fiction or Moral Fact? The Distinction Between Doing and Allowing in Medical Ethics.Thomas S. Huddle - 2013 - Bioethics 27 (5):257-262.
Ronald Dworkin on Abortion and Assisted Suicide.F. M. Kamm - 2001 - Journal of Ethics 5 (3):221-240.
Euthanasia, Withholding Life-Prolonging Treatment, and Moral Differences Between Killing and Letting Die.R. Gillon - 1988 - Journal of Medical Ethics 14 (3):115-117.
Is The Killing/Letting-Die Distinction Normatively Neutral?Earl Winkler - 1991 - Dialogue 30 (03):309-.
Killing and Letting Die.James Rachels - 2001 - In Lawrence C. Becker Mary Becker & Charlotte Becker (eds.), Encyclopedia of Ethics, 2nd Edition. Routledge.
Ambiguities in 'Killing' and 'Letting Die'.Gary M. Atkinson - 1983 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 8 (2):159-168.
A Moral Distinction Between Killing and Letting Die.Carla Kary - 1980 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 5 (4):326-332.
End-of-Life Decisions and Moral Psychology: Killing, Letting Die, Intention and Foresight. [REVIEW]Charles Douglas - 2009 - Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 6 (3):337-347.
Killing John to Save Mary: A Defence of the Distinction Between Killing and Letting Die.Helen Frowe - 2013 - In J. Campbell, M. O’Rourke & H. Silverstein (eds.), Action, Ethics and Responsibility. MIT Press.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads129 ( #37,717 of 2,177,988 )
Recent downloads (6 months)6 ( #45,332 of 2,177,988 )
How can I increase my downloads?