Against ‘Saving Lives’: Equal Concern and Differential Impact

Bioethics 30 (3):159-164 (2016)

Authors
Richard Y. Chappell
University of Miami
Abstract
Bioethicists often present ‘saving lives’ as a goal distinct from, and competing with, that of extending lives by as much as possible. I argue that this usage of the term is misleading, and provides unwarranted rhetorical support for neglecting the magnitudes of the harms and benefits at stake in medical allocation decisions, often to the detriment of the young. Equal concern for all persons requires weighting equal interests equally, but not all individuals have an equal interest in ‘life-saving’ treatment.
Keywords QALYs  double jeopardy  resource allocation  bioethics  equal concern  discrimination
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DOI 10.1111/bioe.12171
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The Ethics of Killing: Problems at the Margins of Life.F. Kamm - 2007 - Philosophical Review 116 (2):273-280.
Taking Rights Seriously.Alan R. White - 1977 - Philosophical Quarterly 27 (109):379-380.
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