The Moral Dilemmas Of The Trolley Driver And Transplant Case

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When addressing the Trolley Driver and Transplant cases, philosophers and non-philosophers alike tend to run into a moral problem. In both cases, the doctor and the trolley driver have to choose between intervening with the problem in which they are facing, which in both cases will save five people and kill one person, or letting the problem run its course, which will save only one person’s life and kill five people. The common problem philosophers face with these two cases is that the majority of people believe it is morally permissible to intervene in the Trolley Driver case, but morally impermissible to intervene in the Transplant case. How could this possibly make sense if the two cases are structured the same? Should a person always want …show more content…
In the Trolley Driver and Transplant cases, the choices the doctor and the trolley driver have to make may seem very similar, but indeed they are not. In the Trolley Driver case, he could either continue on his track and kill five people or turn off his track and only kill one. The decision he has to make is between killing five and killing one. Not only is killing worse than letting die, but people believe killing/letting die more is always worse than killing/letting die less. The trolley driver decides to kill one instead of five and many believe his decision was morally permissible based on the fact that killing more is worse. In the Transplant case, the doctor has the choice between killing one and letting five die. He chooses to kill the one, the same as the trolley driver, but in his case the killing is seen as morally impermissible. Even though the net worth of lives saved would be much greater if he killed the one, based on our proposal, killing is worse than letting die, his decision would still be declared wrong by many people. The proposal that killing is worse than letting die explains why people react differently to the decisions that the trolley driver and doctor make even though they are very similar because they both choose to intervene and save five people. The trolley driver decides to kill less while the doctor decides to kill over letting die. …show more content…
In this case, the doctor finds the right organs he needs not in a healthy patient, but in a fatally sick patient who can be easily treated. Now, his decision is between letting one die and letting five die. He chooses to withhold treatment from one patient, so the patient can die and the doctor can harvest his organs to save the doctor’s five other patients who need transplants. Based on our proposal, killing/letting die more is worse than killing/letting die less, the doctor has made the right choice. When asked, the majority of people would still believe that his actions are morally impermissible. They believe that it is wrong to withhold treatment from someone in order to save others. Therefore, the proposed solution is not correct. It is not true that in all cases killing is worse than letting die or killing/letting die more is worse than killing/letting die

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