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The Double Effect Effect


The “doctrine of double effect” has a pleasing ring to it. It is regarded by some as the cornerstone of any sound approach to end-of-life issues and by others as religious mumbo jumbo. Discussions about “the doctrine” often generate more heat than light. They are often conducted at cross-purposes and laced with footnotes from Leviticus.

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TA. Cavanaugh Double-Effect Reasoning: Doing Good and Avoiding Evil. Oxford: Clarendon Press; 2006

MD. Jordan Rewritten Theology; Aquinas after His Readers. Oxford: Blackwell; 2006.

J. Keown Euthanasia, Ethics and Public Policy. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press; 2002:20.

J. Finnis Intention and side-effects. In: RG. Frey Liability and Responsibility. Oxford: Oxford University Press; 1991:32, 42, 43.

F Randall , R. Downie The Philosophy of Palliative Care. Oxford: Oxford University Press; 2006:114.

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Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics
  • ISSN: 0963-1801
  • EISSN: 1469-2147
  • URL: /core/journals/cambridge-quarterly-of-healthcare-ethics
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