Creation and Abortion: A Study in Moral and Legal Philosophy

By F. M. Kamm | Go to book overview

3 Variations and Alternatives

In this chapter we will consider how significant variations on the violinist case affect the output cutoff argument and also consider other arguments.


If Aid Is No Longer Causally Necessary

Suppose that the violinist needed to be attached to you for only a moment in order to be cured of some fatal disease. However, it is impossible to separate him from you for another nine months, even though the further attachment in itself does him no good. Or assume that the one moment necessary for the violinist's life-saving attachment had the remarkable effect of making you dependent on his body for nine months if there were no forcible detachment.

If the violinist's attachment is forced on you (by a person or by natural force), and if killing him is the only way to separate the two of you, it seems to me that such a killing would be permissible. The violinist still will lose a benefit he would not have had if he had not been attached to you, although he will not gain anything from being attached to you after the first minute. He is not harmed relative to his preattachment prospects, and the losses that you seek to avoid are as great as they are in other cases.

Your continued connection to him or his to you--a loss to you in both cases--is best seen, I believe, as an unavoidable extension of the process which occurred in the first minute that provided him with his bene

-64-

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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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