Essay on The Doctrine of Double Effect

1305 Words Aug 16th, 2013 6 Pages
Case Assignment:
The doctrine of double effect says that the pursuit of good is not as acceptable if the harm that results is intended rather than merely foreseen (Lippert-Rasmussen, 2010). To some it is a nonabsolutist moral principle in which as long as significant good resulted from the action, it is allowable (Lippert-Ramussen, 2010). Scanlon believed that an act that leads to the death of an innocent person can never be justified by the good that results (Lippert-Ramussen, 2010). Scanlon's beliefs will be the focus of this assignment.
1. Read the article by Lippert-Ramussen, "Scanlon on the Doctrine of Double Effect". After reading the article, respond to the questions listed below.
2. Define the Doctrine of Double Effect.
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The available medicine can be utilized in the treatment of one patient. This patient will be cured and be discharged. However, five patients need vital organs which are not available due to a shortage of organs. The organs the five patients need are all possessed by the sixth patient and they are in good health.
If the doctor chooses to treat the sixth patient, the five will die due to the unavailability of the needed organs. As much as it painful, the doctor decides to let the sixth patient die which is a permissibility action and utilize in the salvaging of the five lives which is the intended meaning.
Opinion on the scenario
The sixth patient also belongs to a family and has dreams that are to be achieved. Causing preventable death to such an individual does not only cause pain to the family but it is also an injustice and an unfair way of ending life. It is logical to save five lives by eliminating one but it is morally right to save them all. There are other ways of getting organs for example through donations and extracting from those who die from incidences that cannot be prevented. Organs from such should be utilized but not taking advantage of someone else’s conditions. People come to the hospital to be cured so that they can go back to their normal lives and not to lose life. If they did not care about their lives, they would not have come to the hospital in the first place.
Scanlon’s view
Scanlon “holds that an action that aims at the death of an

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