Article Text

PDF

What makes killing wrong?
  1. Walter Sinnott-Armstrong1,2,
  2. Franklin G Miller2
  1. 1Department of Philosophy and Kenan Institute for Ethics, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, USA
  2. 2Department of Bioethics, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, USA
  1. Correspondence to Walter Sinnott-Armstrong, Kenan Institute for Ethics, Duke University, Box 90432, Durham, NC 27708, USA; ws66{at}duke.edu

Abstract

What makes an act of killing morally wrong is not that the act causes loss of life or consciousness but rather that the act causes loss of all remaining abilities. This account implies that it is not even pro tanto morally wrong to kill patients who are universally and irreversibly disabled, because they have no abilities to lose. Applied to vital organ transplantation, this account undermines the dead donor rule and shows how current practices are compatible with morality.

  • Donation/procurement of organs/tissues
View Full Text

Statistics from Altmetric.com

Supplementary materials

Footnotes

  • The opinions expressed here are those of the authors and do not reflect the position or policy of the National Institutes of Health, the Public Health Service or the Department of Health and Human Services.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.

Linked Articles