The Case Of The Trolley

Decent Essays


Judith Thomson presents us with two cases that argue for the same concept that, is killing one person to avoid the death of five moral or does this make the act of killing to save lives morally permissible? One case consists of a trolley that already has a pre-determined fate of a death occurring. The driver can both crash and continue to kill five people, or change the route to only kill one person instead. The case of the surgeon has the same premise and issues, but fate and morality has a much larger presence. The surgeon has five patients all in need of a specific organ and if they do not obtain these organs they will die. A healthy visitor walks in and it is proposed that the surgeon could kill the healthy individual, …show more content…

In the case of the trolley the fate of death occurring is inevitable; whilst it is in the drivers hands as to who dies, it is also in his hands as to how many die. Thompson proposes a solution that in Bystander, we are morally permitted to kill one in order to save five. If no action were to be done, we would be merely letting five others die. Death would regardless be an unfortunate by-product to this case, however, it is unconventionally in a humans hand on whether or not how many people actually die. In contrast, the case of the surgeon is something that can be debated morally and what Thomson proposes as a solution, is a rational and intuitional one. Beginning with the very issue of the surgeon, we are told that his five patients are in need of five specific organs, and while this is discovered, the surgeon has another healthy patient that withholds all these organs. Thomson would disagree with the killing of the healthy individual and deem it as immoral. She claims that in this situation that killing one to save more lives is not permissible, and that the solution to the trolley problem does not apply to the case of the transplant. Thomson states that a solution to the transplant is to conclude that killing one in order to save five is still not permitted morally nor ethically; I concur that this is not a solution due to the surgeon playing God, and frankly, interfering with fate. Unlike the case of the trolley,

Get Access