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MedEthics summary 1

Submitted by liamharvey on Fri, 02/09/2018 - 11:35

Summary of Thomson, “A Defense of Abortion”

In this article, Thomson defends abortion using several metaphors. In section 5 until the end, Thomson discusses the previous metaphors further by evaluating them as easy or difficult situation, good Samaritan and minimally decent Samaritan scenarios, and discusses when there is a requirement to help.

1. Easy vs. Difficult, Long-term vs. Short-term

Thomson discusses cases in which it would be morally indecent to detach a person from your body at the cost of their life.

-        Example 1: Violinist. Thomson refers to the violinist example where you wake up to find yourself attached to a famous violinist against your will. Being attached from your kidney to the violinist’s heart is keeping the violinist alive. In the initial example, you must remain attached to the violinist for 9 years so that the violinist may live. In this modified scenario, the violinist needs you only for an hour, and being attached to the violinist wouldn’t affect your health. Thomson suggests that in this scenario, it is unjust to disconnect yourself even though you did not consent because you make little sacrifice to keep another alive. (60)