Chapter

Killing and Letting Die

Philippa Foot

in Moral Dilemmas

Published in print October 2002 | ISBN: 9780199252848
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191597411 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/019925284X.003.0006
Killing and Letting Die

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Considers the moral relevance of a distinction between killing and letting die, which distinction is sometimes morally critical, as shown in the difference between killing one to save five and leaving one to die while rescuing them (here labelled Rescue I and Rescue II.) A more basic distinction is, she thinks, between initiating a harmful sequence of events and not interfering to prevent it. The latter is sometimes permissible where the former would not be, because in general we have a stronger right not to be interfered with than positively to be helped.

Keywords: abortion; allowing; killing; James Rachels; scarce drugs; Judith Jarvis Thomson; Michael Tooley

Chapter.  4358 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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