more from Philippa Foot

Single Idea 4692

[catalogued under 24. Applied Ethics / A. Decision Conflicts / 5. Omissions]

Full Idea

Many philosophers (e.g. Rachels) have argued that there is no morally relevant distinction between killing and allowing to die (or the related 'acts and omissions'), in not sending food, or sending poisoned food. I disagree.

Gist of Idea

It is not true that killing and allowing to die (or acts and omissions) are morally indistinguishable


Philippa Foot (Killing and Letting Die [1985], p.78)

Book Reference

Foot,Philippa: 'Moral Dilemmas' [OUP 2002], p.78

A Reaction

It appears that some omissions are worse than acts. It is more honest to just shoot an injured person, than to walk away and leave them to die. A range of cases.