The doctrine of double effect: Reflections on theoretical and practical issues

Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 16 (5):571-585 (1991)
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The Doctrine of Double Effect and the Principle of Do No Harm raise important theoretical and practical issues, some of which are discussed by Boyle, Donagan, and Quinn. I argue that neither principle is correct, and some revisionist, and probably nonabsolutist, analysis of constraints on action and omission is necessary. In making these points, I examine several approaches to deflection of threat cases, discuss an argument for the permissibility of voluntary euthanasia, and present arguments relevant to medical contexts which justify intentionally hanning some to aid others, with and without the consent of those harmed. Keywords: consent, double effect, euthanasia, harming, organ transplantation, scarce resources, trolley problem CiteULike Connotea What's this?



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Frances Myrna Kamm
Rutgers University - New Brunswick

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