To act and to refrain from actions comprises according to the logic of ethical consequentialism to be responsible in any case. This argument is particularly important in medical ethics: Setting actively limits to a life or permitting a long-term suffering of a patient is sometimes interpreted as equally important in the view of morals or ethics. The foundation of this argument is a one-sided theory of causation. The essay presented here tries to differentiate between the idea of causation in activities and the ascription of consequences of non-interference in certain cases. In former times nature presented reasons for nonintervention: God was at work. But when the idea of God is deficient in evidence in certain Western societies a qualified idea of life could replace the former basis of naturallaw or natural theology.
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DOI 10.14315/zee-2003-0102
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