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From reason to practice in bioethicsAn anthology dedicated to the works of John Harris$
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John Coggon, Sarah Chan, Soren Holme, and Thomasine Kushner

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780719096235

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719096235.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM MANCHESTER SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.manchester.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Manchester University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MSO for personal use.date: 29 June 2022

Killing and allowing to die

Killing and allowing to die

(p.190) 18 Killing and allowing to die
From reason to practice in bioethics

Raanan Gillon

Manchester University Press

This chapter starts by praising John Harris as ‘a hugely important and of course hugely controversial contributor to the field of medical ethics and bioethics’. It goes on to argue that while there are no necessary moral distinctions to be made between killing and letting die (or allowing to die or not preventing death) there sometimes are valid moral distinctions to be made between them. Furthermore, it argues that such distinctions can be morally relevant in clinical medicine, such that in some circumstances allowing patients to die is morally acceptable where killing the same patients in the same circumstances would not be morally acceptable. Citing material in Harris’s ‘The Value of Life’ suggesting that he might disagree with these claims it invites him to clarify his position!

Keywords:   Medical ethics, Killing, Letting die, Allowing to die, Not preventing death, Killing and letting die, Killing and allowing to die, Killing and not preventing death

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