The Preference Toward Identified Victims and Rescue Duties

American Journal of Bioethics 15 (2):25-27 (2015)
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Jeremy R. Garrett claims that the nature and scope of our rescue duties cannot be properly understood and addressed without reference to social context or institutional background conditions. In my comment I focus not on social or institutional but on psychological background conditions that are also necessary for the conceptualization of rescue cases. These additional conditions are of crucial importance since an entire paradigm of “rescue medicine” is founded, as Garret notices, on the powerful and immediate “impulse to rescue” (Garrett 2015). I understand this “impulse” as the preference toward identified victims, and I argue that it may sometimes distort genuine moral judgments in rescue cases.
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