This paper examines some of the issues related to the distinction between acts and omissions. It discusses the difficulties involved in deciding whether there is any moral significance in this distinction, particularly when it is applied to cases which involve killing or allowing to die. The paper shows how this problem relates to some of the current issues in medical ethics. It examines the issues raised by the widely publicised cases of selective treatment of handicapped children and argues that such decisions are taken and have to be taken in the context of wider ethical theories.
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