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Moral duties and euthanasia: why to kill is not necessarily the same as to let die
  1. Hugh McLachlan
  1. Correspondence to Professor Hugh McLachlan, School of Law and Social Sciences, Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow, UK; h.mclachlan{at}


David Shaw's response to Hugh McLachlan's criticism of his proposed new perspective on euthanasia is ineffectual, mistaken and unfair. It is false to say that the latter does not present an argument to support his claim that there is a moral difference between killing and letting die. It is not the consequences alone of actions that constitute their moral worth. It can matter too what duties are breached or fulfilled by the particular moral agents who are involved.

  • Euthanasia
  • assisted suicide
  • doctor-patient relationship
  • killing
  • letting die
  • applied and professional ethics
  • philosophical ethics

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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