Journal of Medical Ethics 45 (7):478-479 (2019)

Authors
Daniel Rodger
London South Bank University
Bruce P. Blackshaw
University of Birmingham
Abstract
In ’Abortion and deprivation: a reply to Marquis’, Anna Christensen contends that Don Marquis’ influential ’future like ours’ argument for the immorality of abortion faces a significant challenge from the Epicurean claim that human beings cannot be harmed by their death. If deprivation requires a subject, then abortion cannot deprive a fetus of a future of value, as no individual exists to be deprived once death has occurred. However, the Epicurean account also implies that the wrongness of murder is also not grounded in the badness of death, which is strongly counterintuitive. There is an alternative: we can save our intuitions by adopting a more moderate Epicurean account such as that proposed by David Hershenov, who grounds the wrongness of killing in the prevention of the benefit of further good life rather than in the badness of death. Hershenov’s account, however, is equally applicable to Marquis’ argument: abortion similarly prevents a fetus from enjoying the benefit of a future like ours. Consequently, we conclude that Christensen’s criticism of Marquis’ argument fails to undermine his reasoning.
Keywords Abortion  Epicurean  Ethics  Death  Fetus
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DOI 10.1136/medethics-2018-105267
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References found in this work BETA

Why Abortion is Immoral.Don Marquis - 1989 - Journal of Philosophy 86 (4):183-202.
Abortion and Deprivation: A Reply to Marquis.Anna Christensen - 2019 - Journal of Medical Ethics 45 (1):22-25.
The Evil of Death.Harry S. Silverstein - 1980 - Journal of Philosophy 77 (7):401-424.
Less Good but Not Bad: In Defense of Epicureanism About Death.Aaron Smuts - 2012 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 93 (2):197-227.

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Citations of this work BETA

Abortion and the Epicurean Challenge.Karl Ekendahl - 2020 - Journal of Medical Ethics 46 (4):273-274.
Continuing Conversations About Abortion and Deprivation.Anna Christensen - 2020 - Journal of Medical Ethics 46 (4):275-276.

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