KILLING/LETTING DIE

KILL = To Intentionally Cause To Die

LET DIE = To Knowingly Fail To Prevent From Dying.

NEGATIVE vs.POSITIVE DUTIES

(e.g., NOT HARMING OTHERS vs. BENEFITTING OTHERS)

A DUTY NOT TO HARM is a NEGATIVE DUTY to refrain from interfering in other people's lives in certain (harmful) ways.

A DUTY OF BENEFICENCE is a POSITIVE DUTY to promote the well-being of another person.

SINGER ON THE MORAL EQUIVALENCE OF KILLING AND LETTING DIE

Five differences between killing and letting die:

(1) Lack of an identifiable victim.

(2) Lack of certainty about the outcome.

(3) Responsibility for acts rather than omissions.

(4) Difference in motivation.

(5) Avoiding killing is relatively easy; avoiding letting die would require heroic sacrifice.