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William Simkulet
Park University
Moral obligationAbortionLetting dieMedicineSocial psychology
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To avoid potential abuse and respect patient autonomy, physicians have a moral obligation to obtain informed consent before performing any significant medical intervention. To give informed consent, a patient must be competent, understand her condition, options and their expected risks and benefits and must freely and expressly consent to one of those options. Shlomo Cohen challenges this conception of informed consent by constructing cases based on Edmund Gettier’s classic counterexamples to tr...
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The contemporary philosophical literature on abortion primarily revolves around three seemingly intractable debates, concerning the (1) moral status of the fetus, (2) scope of women’s rights and (3) moral relevance of the killing/letting die distinction. The possibility of ectogenesis—technology that would allow a fetus to develop outside of a gestational mother’s womb—presents a unique opportunity for moral compromise. Here, I argue those opposed to abortion have a prima facie moral obligation ...
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Most opposition to abortion turns on the claim that human fetuses are full moral agents from conception (or soon afterwards). Critics argue that antiabortion theorists act hypocritically when they neglect spontaneous abortions—valuing some fetal lives and not others. Many philosophers draw a distinction between killing and letting die, with the former being morally impermissible and latter acceptable. Henrick Friberg-Fernros appeals to this distinction with his Two Tragedies Argument, contending...
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