<!DOCTYPE html><HTML lang="en"> <head><meta charset="utf-8"> <title>Hershenov (David) - Misunderstanding the Moral Equivalence of Killing and Letting Die (Theo Todman's Book Collection - Paper Abstracts) </title> <link href="../../TheosStyle.css" rel="stylesheet" type="text/css"><link rel="shortcut icon" href="../../TT_ICO.png" /></head> <BODY> <CENTER> <div id="header"><HR><h1>Theo Todman's Web Page - Paper Abstracts</h1><HR></div><A name="Top"></A> <TABLE class = "Bridge" WIDTH=950> <tr><th><A HREF = "../../PaperSummaries/PaperSummary_21/PaperSummary_21114.htm">Misunderstanding the Moral Equivalence of Killing and Letting Die</A></th></tr> <tr><th><A HREF = "../../Authors/H/Author_Hershenov (David).htm">Hershenov (David)</a></th></tr> <tr><th>Source: National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly,8:2, Summer 2008, 239-245</th></tr> <tr><th>Paper - Abstract</th></tr> </TABLE> </CENTER> <P><CENTER><TABLE class = "Bridge" WIDTH=400><tr><td><A HREF = "../../PaperSummaries/PaperSummary_21/PaperSummary_21114.htm">Paper Summary</A></td><td><A HREF="#ColourConventions">Text Colour-Conventions</a></td></tr></TABLE></CENTER></P> <hr><P><FONT COLOR = "0000FF"><u>Author s Abstract</u><FONT COLOR = "800080"><ol type="1"><li>One of the most famous discussions in applied ethics, James Rachels s advocacy of euthanasia, contains an argument that implies the moral equivalence of killing and letting die. What Rachels overlooks is that the <a name="1"></a><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_0/Notes_32.htm">thought experiments</A><SUP>1</SUP> they rely upon to demonstrate this equivalence actually suggest that many readers had earlier underestimated the wrongness of allowing someone to die rather than overestimated the wrongness of killing. So if Rachels is correct about killing and letting die, there are actually two lessons to be learned by those who oppose active euthanasia. </li><li>The first lesson which Rachels seeks to inculcate, is that active euthanasia cannot be distinguished from passive euthanasia, on the grounds that the first of each pair involve a killing and the latter just allowing death. </li><li>But the second lesson, one that Rachels would not have liked if they had noticed it, is that passive euthanasia is actually worse than had previously been thought. Thus those readers who had opposed active euthanasia but not passive euthanasia, when forced to treat these consistently in light of the moral equivalence of killing and letting die, have more reason to change their permissive attitude to passive euthanasia than to accept active euthanasia. </li></ol></FONT><hr><FONT COLOR = "0000FF"><B>Comment: </B><BR><BR>See <a name="W2671W"></a><A HREF = "http://www.acsu.buffalo.edu/~dh25/articles/MisuderstandingtheMoralEquivalenceofKillingandLettingDie.pdf" TARGET = "_top">Link</A>.<BR><FONT COLOR = "0000FF"><HR></P><a name="ColourConventions"></a><p><b>Text Colour Conventions (see <A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_10/Notes_1025.htm">disclaimer</a>)</b></p><OL TYPE="1"><LI><FONT COLOR = "0000FF">Blue</FONT>: Text by me; &copy; Theo Todman, 2018</li><LI><FONT COLOR = "800080">Mauve</FONT>: Text by correspondent(s) or other author(s); &copy; the author(s)</li></OL> <BR><HR><BR><CENTER> <TABLE class = "Bridge" WIDTH=950> <TR><TD WIDTH="30%">&copy; Theo Todman, June 2007 - August 2018.</TD> <TD WIDTH="40%">Please address any comments on this page to <A HREF="mailto:theo@theotodman.com">theo@theotodman.com</A>.</TD> <TD WIDTH="30%">File output: <time datetime="2018-08-02T09:32" pubdate>02/08/2018 09:32:14</time> <br><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_10/Notes_1010.htm">Website Maintenance Dashboard</A></TD></TR> <TD WIDTH="30%"><A HREF="#Top">Return to Top of this Page</A></TD> <TD WIDTH="40%"><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_11/Notes_1140.htm">Return to Theo Todman's Philosophy Page</A></TD> <TD WIDTH="30%"><A HREF="../../index.htm">Return to Theo Todman's Home Page</A></TD> </TR></TABLE></CENTER><HR> </BODY> </HTML>