What makes killing wrong?
Compose Response

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
Author Information
First or given name, e.g. 'Peter'.
Your last, or family, name, e.g. 'MacMoody'.
Your email address, e.g.
Your role and/or occupation, e.g. 'Orthopedic Surgeon'.
Your organization or institution (if applicable), e.g. 'Royal Free Hospital'.
Statement of Competing Interests


  • A rapid response is a moderated but not peer reviewed online response to a published article in a BMJ journal; it will not receive a DOI and will not be indexed unless it is also republished as a Letter, Correspondence or as other content. Find out more about rapid responses.
  • We intend to post all responses which are approved by the Editor, within 14 days (BMJ Journals) or 24 hours (The BMJ), however timeframes cannot be guaranteed. Responses must comply with our requirements and should contribute substantially to the topic, but it is at our absolute discretion whether we publish a response, and we reserve the right to edit or remove responses before and after publication and also republish some or all in other BMJ publications, including third party local editions in other countries and languages
  • Our requirements are stated in our rapid response terms and conditions and must be read. These include ensuring that: i) you do not include any illustrative content including tables and graphs, ii) you do not include any information that includes specifics about any patients,iii) you do not include any original data, unless it has already been published in a peer reviewed journal and you have included a reference, iv) your response is lawful, not defamatory, original and accurate, v) you declare any competing interests, vi) you understand that your name and other personal details set out in our rapid response terms and conditions will be published with any responses we publish and vii) you understand that once a response is published, we may continue to publish your response and/or edit or remove it in the future.
  • By submitting this rapid response you are agreeing to our terms and conditions for rapid responses and understand that your personal data will be processed in accordance with those terms and our privacy notice.
This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

Vertical Tabs

Other responses

Jump to comment:

  • Published on:
    Dead people ARE totally and irreversibly disabled people

    I would argue that a totally and irreversibly disabled person HAS ceased to exist. Personhood, medically, exists in the brain. If the brain has been made permanently incapable of sustaining coherent thought or experience, it no longer belongs to a person. This view seems to be widely held by relatives of those with Alzheimer's disease, who speak very vividly of the gradual loss the person they once knew and loved. Many p...

    Show More
    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.
  • Published on:
    What's wrong about "what makes killing wrong?"

    In a recent article by Walter Sinnott-Armstrong and Franklin G. Miller, the argument is made that ability should be the metric of value among human life and thus the determining factor on what constitutes moral harm when killing. Someone who has permanently lost all abilities no longer has value and killing them would not only fail to add more harm and it would also fail to take away any more value.

    In the author...

    Show More
    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.
  • Published on:
    Dead people are not totally and irreversibly disabled people

    Dear sir

    I believe all the commentaries on the piece by Sinnott-Armstrong and Miller miss a really fundamental problem with their account of the wrongness of killing. Sinnott-Armstrong and Miller claim that what makes killing wrong is that it totally and irreversibly disables the person killed. They then infer from this that, if someone is universally and irreversibly disabled, they cannot be wronged if they ar...

    Show More
    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.

Other content recommended for you