give aid, however, shows only a lack of beneficence, which is a different matter. The imperilled persons enemy, however, is also present and, seeing his opportunity, swiftly removes the net so the imperilled person hits the ground and dies. A general duty not to let people die would be impossible to fulfill. If she does not repress the spasm, her finger will contract around the trigger, setting off a gun, killing Vic (Persson 2013, 96). One contribution explains harm more directly than another if the explanatory value of the second is exhausted in the way it explains the first. Foot (1978, 1984, 1985) argues that the difference between doing and allowing harm is at heart a difference in the agents relationship to a harmful sequence. If it can be shown that the doing/allowing distinction is morally significant, the Trolley Problem should be understood as a further challenge.
Bonnie Steinbock, Alastair Norcross.
Alastair Norcross is an Associate Professor of philosophy specializing in normative ethics, applied ethics, and political philosophy.
(2003) 'Killing and Letting Die'.
Frey and Christopher Heath Wellman (eds.
The Blackwell Companion to Applied Ethics: 451-463.
Sequences, Action, Inaction and Positive and Negative Rights Both Philippa Foot and Warren Quinn attempt to defend the moral relevance of the doing/allowing distinction by connecting it with a moral distinction between positive and negative rights. However, there are some cases which do intuitively involve doing harm by remaining still. If the patient is moved or unplugged from the respirator, he will die. Killing And Letting Die Is it worse to kill someone than to let someone die? Ann Davis, and adds articles new to this edition by Bennett, Foot, Warren Quinn, Jeff McMahan, and Judith Lichtenberg. 4, indeed, the Equivalence Thesis is often taken to be simply a utilitarian idea.