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Unconscious violinists and the use of analogies in moral argument
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  • Clarike Hewson
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    While I must agree the analogy of the siamese twins do provide a better understanding of some of the issues dealt with by Thomson there is one fatal law not addressed with this analogy. In law of evidence it must always be considered whether the probative value of evidence outweighs the possible prejudice using said evidence could hold. Applying that to this scenario it can be argued that the person attached to the unconscious violinist has an understanding a a frame of reference to what life was like before the incident, what life is like during the attachment and what life could be like after attachment. There is thus a clear understanding of what is being sacrificed and the changes forward this will have. The same can be said for a pregnant woman contemplating abortion. She knows what life was life before pregnancy what life is like during pregnancy and what changes to except after the birth of the child, thus enabling her to make an informed decision. The same can however not be said for the siamese twins as Elizabeth has no framework to base the standard of her life on. Elizabeth only knows what life is like attached to Catherine as she has never been independent of her. Elizabeth can thus not make an informed decision as she has no idea what life will be like without Catherine (she could become depressed for the loss of a loved one she has known her entire life, or she could end up regretting her decision much later on in life when it is too late [if a woman gets an...

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