The Problem Of Abortion And The Doctrine Of Double Effect

1775 Words Nov 11th, 2014 8 Pages
In 'The Problem of Abortion and the Doctrine of Double Effect ', Phillipa Foot takes into account what is called the Doctrine of Double Effect (henceforth DDE), which appeals to two effects that an action causes - one intended at and desired, the other foreseen as a consequence of the action but undesired. She uses this doctrine to critically examine its application and thereby assert that "My conclusion is that the distinction between direct and oblique intention (the DDE) plays only a quite subsidiary role in deciding what we say [in these cases], while the distinction between avoiding injury and bringing aid (the DAO) is very important indeed." In this paper, I will begin by first reviewing and commenting on the soundness of arguments in support of DDE in some cases provided by Foot. Then, I 'll show how and why Foot proposes an appeal to DAO or the Doctrine of Acts and Omissions which is explained by her on the basis of negative and positive duty distinction. I will then criticise this approach. Finally, I will analyse three different abortion cases mentioned by Foot from the points of view of DDE and Foot 's proposal of DAO.

I will begin by explaining the distinction on which DDE depends -
Direct Intention - One directly intends something if and only if it is aimed as an end or as a means to one 's end.
Oblique Intention - One obliquely intends something if and only if it is foreseen as a consequence of one 's voluntary action and is not directly intended.…

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