Moral Absolutism and the Double-Effect Exception: Reflections on Joseph Boyle's "Who Is Entitled to Double Effect?"
Journal of Medicine and Philosophy. 1991 Oct; 16(5): 495-509.
Joseph Boyle raises important questions about the place of the double-effect exception in absolutist moral theories. His own absolutist theory (held by many, but not all, Catholic moralists), which derives from the principles that fundamental human goods may not be intentionally violated, cannot dispense with such exceptions, although he rightly rejects some widely held views about what they are. By contrast, Kantian absolutist theory, which derives from the principle that lawful freedom must not be violated, has a corollary -- that it is a duty, where possible, to coerce those who try to violate lawful freedom -- which makes superfluous many of the double-effect exceptions Boyle allows. Other implications of the two theories are contrasted.
Abortion; Bioethical Issues; Bioethics; Childbirth; Decision Making; Deontological Ethics; Double Effect; Drugs; Ethical Analysis; Ethics; Fetuses; Freedom; Injuries; Intention; Killing; Pain; Philosophy; Resource Allocation; Roman Catholic Ethics; Teleological Ethics; Terminal Care; Therapeutic Abortion;
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Boyle, Joseph (1991-10)The doctrine of double effect continues to be an important tool in bioethical casuistry. Its role within the Catholic moral tradition continues, and there is considerable interest in it by contemporary moral philosophers. ...