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Intention, foresight and ending life : a response to "The Double Effect effect" by Charles Foster, Jonathan Herring, Karen Melham and Tony Hope, (CQ 20(1))

McGee, Andrew (2013) Intention, foresight and ending life : a response to "The Double Effect effect" by Charles Foster, Jonathan Herring, Karen Melham and Tony Hope, (CQ 20(1)). Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics, 22(1), pp. 77-85.

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Abstract

In this paper I examine the recent arguments by Charles Foster, Jonathan Herring, Karen Melham and Tony Hope against the utility of the doctrine of double effect. One basis on which they reject the utility of the doctrine is their claim that it is notoriously difficult to apply what they identify as its 'core' component, namely, the distinction between intention and foresight. It is this contention that is the primarily focus of my article. I argue against this claim that the intention/foresight distinction remains a fundamental part of the law in those jurisdictions where intention remains an element of the offence of murder and that, accordingly, it is essential ro resolve the putative difficulties of applying the intention/foresight distinction so as to ensure the integrity of the law of murder. I argue that the main reasons advanced for the claim that the intention/foresight distinction is difficult to apply are ultimately unsustainable, and that the distinction is not as difficult to apply as the authors suggest.

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ID Code: 46789
Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: Intention, foresight, double effect, murder, end of life, pain relief, euthanasia, purpose, side-effect, means/end, collateral damage, test of credibility, strategic bomber, terror bomber, John Harris
DOI: 10.1017/S0963180112000400
ISSN: 0963-1801
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LAW AND LEGAL STUDIES (180000) > LAW (180100)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PHILOSOPHY AND RELIGIOUS STUDIES (220000) > APPLIED ETHICS (220100)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PHILOSOPHY AND RELIGIOUS STUDIES (220000) > APPLIED ETHICS (220100) > Bioethics (human and animal) (220101)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PHILOSOPHY AND RELIGIOUS STUDIES (220000) > APPLIED ETHICS (220100) > Medical Ethics (220106)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PHILOSOPHY AND RELIGIOUS STUDIES (220000) > PHILOSOPHY (220300)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Law
Current > Schools > School of Law
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2012 Cambridge University Press
Deposited On: 03 Nov 2011 08:33
Last Modified: 13 Feb 2013 11:49

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