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Kuhse, Helga, , . Critical Notice: Why Killing Is Not Always Worse – and Is Sometimes Better – Than Letting Die
1998, Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 7 (4):371-374.
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Added by: Clotilde Torregrossa, Contributed by: Simon Fokt

Abstract: The philosophical debate over the moral difference between killing and letting die has obvious relevance for the contemporary public debate over voluntary euthanasia. Winston Nesbitt claims to have shown that killing someone is, other things being equal, always worse than allowing someone to die. But this conclusion is illegitimate. While Nesbitt is correct when he suggests that killing is sometimes worse than letting die, this is not always the case. In this article, I argue that there are occasions when it is better to kill than to let die

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Maclean, Anne, , . The Elimination of Morality: Reflections on Utilitarianism and Bioethics
1993, Routledge.
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Added by: Clotilde Torregrossa, Contributed by: Simon Fokt

Publisher’s Note: The Elimination of Morality poses a fundamental challenge to the dominant conception of medical ethics. In this controversial and timely study, Anne Maclean addresses the question of what kind of contribution philosophers can make to the discussion of medico-moral issues and the work of health care professionals. She establishes the futility of bioethics by challenging the conception of reason in ethics which is integral to the utilitarian tradition. She argues that a philosophical training confers no special authority to make pronouncements about moral issues, and proposes that pure utilitarianism eliminates the essential ingredients of moral thinking. Maclean also exposes the inadequacy of a utilitarian account of moral reasoning and moral life, dismissing the claim that reason demands the rejection of special obligations. She argues that the utilitarian drive to reduce rational moral judgment to a single form is ultimately destructive of moral judgment as such. This vital discussion of the nature of medical ethics and moral philosophy will be important reading for anyone interested in the fields of health care ethics and philosophy.

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Purdy, Laura M., , . Reproducing Persons: Issues in Feminist Bioethics
1996, Cornell University Press.
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Added by: Clotilde Torregrossa, Contributed by: Simon Fokt

Publisher’s Note: Controversies about abortion and women’s reproductive technologies often seem to reflect personal experience, religious commitment, or emotional response. Laura M. Purdy believes, however, that coherent ethical principles are implicit in these controversies and that feminist bioethics can help clarify the conflicts of interest which often figure in human reproduction. As she defines the underlying issues, Purdy emphasizes the importance of taking women’s interests fully into account. Reproducing Persons first explores the rights and duties connected with conception and pregnancy. Purdy asks whether conceiving a child or taking a pregnancy to term can ever be morally wrong. She challenges the thinking of those who feel the prospect of disability or serious genetic disease should not constrain conception or justify abortion. The essays next look at abortion from a variety of angles. One contends that killing fetuses is not murder; others emphasize the moral importance of access to abortion. Purdy considers the conflicting interests of women and men regarding abortion, and argues against requiring a husband’s consent. The book concludes with a consideration of new reproductive technologies and arrangements, including the controversial issue of surrogacy, or contract pregnancy. Throughout, Purdy combines traditional utilitarianism with some of the most powerful insights of contemporary feminist ethics. Her provocative essays create guidelines for approaching new topics and inspire fresh thinking about old ones.

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Thomson, Judith Jarvis, , . Goodness and Utilitarianism
1994, Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association, 67(4): 5-21.
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Summary: This article argues that there is no property of being good simpliciter, that all goodness is goodness-in-a-way. It draws out the (damaging) implications of this result for consequentialism.

Comment: This article offers a famous objection to ulitiltarianism/consequentialism, namely that the property of being good (simpliciter) to which consquentialism appeals does not exist; ‘good’ is incomplete. It would be a great addition to a contemporary normative ethics course, in a unit on consequentialism’s most famous critiques.

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Woollard, Fiona, , . Doing and Allowing Harm
2015, Oxford University Press
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Added by: Simon Fokt, Contributed by: Lizzy Ventham

Abstract: Fiona Woollard presents an original defence of the Doctrine of Doing and Allowing, according to which doing harm seems much harder to justify than merely allowing harm. She argues that the Doctrine is best understood as a principle that protects us from harmful imposition, and offers a moderate account of our obligations to offer aid to others.

Comment: This book gives a great overview to the debate about the difference between doing and allowing harm, as well as advancing its own view. I recommend it as further reading on courses in a number of topics, including any that cover non-consequentialism and those that cover certain applied ethical topics. Woollard also co-authors the stanford encyclopedia entry on the same topic, which I also include in my reading lists.

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