The Theoretical Tenability of the Doctrine of Double Effect

Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 16 (5):467-473 (1991)
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Abstract

The doctrine of double effect shows that for which the moral agent is responsible, by explicating the relationship between the act directly intended and the consequences of that act. I contend that this doctrine is necessary not only for natural law absolutism, but also for Donagan's Kantianism and for Quinn's revised construal of the doctrine, and even for consequentialism, as bioethical implications of the doctrine make clear. For those who do not accept this necessity, I contend that it is necessary metatheoretically, in order to deal with those moral agents with irreconcilably different notions of the morally good

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