Creation and Abortion: A Study in Moral and Legal Philosophy

By F. M. Kamm | Go to book overview

2 Applying the Argument to Specific Nonabortion Cases
Having constructed the general framework of the argument, we will now examine in more detail how its steps apply to three different situations. In general, the different ways in which attachment occurs may be thought to affect whether there is a special obligation to aid, and what the appropriate baseline is with which to compare the fate of the person killed. We shall also discuss which efforts may permissibly be avoided by killing. In addition, in each case we shall consider an alternative to the output cutoff argument, namely self-and-assisted defense.
Forced Attachment
In the first situation, forced attachment, the following conditions hold:
1. The violinist's need to survive does not, by itself, give him the right to begin using, or to continue using, your body, nor does it give you a duty to start or to continue to aid.
2. You have no special obligations to permit your body to be used when such an attachment has been forced on you.

It might be argued that the violinist has a right to remain in your body because someone must kill him in order to remove him, and he will be harmed if removed. In addition, he might have such a right because if you cease your support of him, he will be worse off than he would have been if he had never been attached to you in the first place. In response to these observations, note the third condition:

3. By being killed and harmed, the violinist loses only what he has

-42-

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Creation and Abortion: A Study in Moral and Legal Philosophy
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface vii
  • Contents ix
  • Introduction 3
  • 1 - May We Kill in Nonabortion Cases? 20
  • Notes 39
  • 2 - Applying the Argument to Specific Nonabortion Cases 42
  • Notes 63
  • 3 - Variations and Alternatives 64
  • Notes 76
  • 4 - May We Kill in Abortion Cases? 78
  • Notes 120
  • 5 - Creating Responsibly 124
  • Notes 182
  • 6 - Informed Consent, Responsibilities in Pregnancy, and External Means of Gestation 186
  • Notes 218
  • Index 221
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