Abstract
Is there a rational and ethical basis for efforts to rescue individuals in dire straits? When does rescue have ethical support, and when does it reflect an irrational impulse? This paper defines a Rule of Rescue and shows its intuitive appeal. It then proceeds to argue that this rule lacks support from standard principles of justice and from ethical principles more broadly, and should be rejected in many situations. I distinguish between agent-relative and agent-neutral reasons, and argue that the Rule of Rescue qualifies only in a narrow range of cases where agent-relative considerations apply. I conclude that it would be wise to set aside the Rule of Rescue in many cases, especially those involving public policies, where it has only weak normative justification. The broader implications of this analysis are noted
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DOI 10.1093/jmp/jhs056
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References found in this work BETA

Principles of Biomedical Ethics.Tom L. Beauchamp - 1979 - Oxford University Press.
Famine, Affluence, and Morality.Peter Singer - 1972 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 1 (3):229-243.
A Defense of Abortion.Judith Jarvis Thomson - 1971 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 1 (1):47-66.
The Limits of Morality.Shelly Kagan - 1989 - Oxford University Press.
Just Health Care.Norman Daniels - 1985 - Cambridge University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

Collectivizing Rescue Obligations in Bioethics.Jeremy R. Garrett - 2015 - American Journal of Bioethics 15 (2):3-11.
Rethinking Rescue Medicine.Nancy S. Jecker - 2015 - American Journal of Bioethics 15 (2):12-18.

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