Defending the two tragedies argument: a response to Simkulet

Journal of Medical Ethics 45 (6):417-418 (2019)
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Abstract

According to the two-tragedies argument proponents of pro-life can justifiably prioritize efforts to prevent abortion rather than miscarriages due to the fact that abortions in contrast to miscarriages involves usually the act of killing. William Simkulet has recently argued against this argument claiming that it fails as it is in conflict with the common sense pro-life view on abortion and leads to an overestimation of the moral value of preventing the ‘second tragedy’, namely the act of killing, compared with the value of preventing the death of an individual. In this article, I argue against to his charges against the two tragedies argument by demonstrating that this argument is not only compatible but also in line with the common sense pro-life view and that the argument does not overestimate moral significance of the act of killing.

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