Killing and Letting Die: Hidden Value Assumptions
Atkinson, Gary M.
Social Science and Medicine. 1983; 17(23): 1915-1925.
Atkinson maintains that the distinction between killing and letting die is more nuanced than is generally understood, and that the failure to recognize the normative component of both concepts can lead to unjustified neglect and hinder the provision of morally required aid. Using hypothetical cases, he argues that the notion of killing is different from and more complex than that of causing death; that the killing/letting die distinction cannot be based on an action/omission or acting/refraining distinction; that the killing/letting die distinction is neither exclusive nor exhaustive; and that prior moral judgments can color perceived differences between the two concepts. (KIE abstract)
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