Tuesday, October 31, 2006
Your invocation of Dr. Kevorkian suggests to me that you may not grasp Rob Vischer's point.
Assume (1) that objective O is a morally worthy objective (e.g., saving the life of a pregnant woman with an ectopic pregnancy).
Assume (2) that under the doctrine of double effect it is it is morally permissible for me to take action A (e.g., surgically remove the fallopian tube) in order to achieve O even though A will result in the death of Z (e.g., the fetus).
Assume (3) that I can achieve O by killing Z intentionally--and that the advantage of this latter course of action over action A is that I can achieve something else that is morally worthy (e.g., preserving the woman's capacity to bear children).
Given that no matter which of the two paths I take Z is going to die, and given that it is morally permissible for me to take action A, why should we accept that it is morally impermissible for me to kill Z intentionally, thereby achieving something that is morally worthy at no cost to Z, who is going to die no matter which choice I make?