The principle of double-effect in a clinical context

Poiesis and Praxis 1 (3):211-218 (2003)
  Copy   BIBTEX


Whereas indirect euthanasia is a common clinical practice, active euthanasia remains forbidden in most countries. The reason for this differentiation is usually seen in the principle of double-effect (PDE). PDE states that there is a morally relevant difference between the intended consequences of an action and merely foreseen, unintended side-effects. This article discloses the fundamental assumptions presenting the basis for this application of the PDE and examines whether these assumptions are compatible with the PDE. It is shown that neither a liberal nor a utilitarian point of view makes the utilization of the PDE possible. In accordance with philosophical tradition, only within the doctrine of the sanctity of life does the PDE seem to be applicable. By analysing the premises of this doctrine, and comparing them with those of the PDE, the inconsistency of this idea is demonstrated. It is suggested that the role of the PDE in the current discussion on euthanasia is largely exaggerated



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 74,174

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

A Critique of Scanlon on Double Effect.Joshua Stuchlik - 2012 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 9 (2):178-199.
A Defense of St. Thomas and the Principle of Double Effect.Daniel F. Montaldi - 1986 - Journal of Religious Ethics 14 (2):296 - 332.
Revising the Doctrine of Double Effect.Jeff McMahan - 1994 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 11 (2):201-212.
The Double Failure of 'Double Effect'.Neil Roughley - 2007 - In Christoph Lumer & Sandro Nannini (eds.), Intentionality, Deliberation, and Autonomy. Ashgate.
Double Effect, Double Intention, and Asymmetric Warfare.Steven Lee - 2004 - Journal of Military Ethics 3 (3):233-251.
Who is Entitled to Double Effect?Joseph Boyle - 1991 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 16 (5):475-494.
Intentions, Motives and the Doctrine of Double Effect.Lawrence Masek - 2010 - Philosophical Quarterly 60 (240):567-585.


Added to PP

29 (#398,830)

6 months
1 (#413,740)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations

References found in this work

The Survival Lottery.John Harris - 1975 - Philosophy 50 (191):81 - 87.
Against the Right to Die.J. David Velleman - 1992 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 17 (6):665-681.
Tun und Unterlassen.Dieter Birnbacher - 1996 - Zeitschrift für Philosophische Forschung 50 (3):506-510.
The Least Worst Death.M. Pabst Battin - 1983 - Hastings Center Report 13 (2):13-16.

View all 13 references / Add more references