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Helen Watt
University of Edinburgh (PhD)
  1. The Dignity of Human Life: Sketching Out an 'Equal Worth' Approach.Helen Watt - 2020 - Ethics and Medicine 36 (1):7-17.
    The term “value of life” can refer to life’s intrinsic dignity: something nonincremental and time-unaffected in contrast to the fluctuating, incremental “value” of our lives, as they are longer or shorter and more or less flourishing. Human beings are equal in their basic moral importance: the moral indignities we condemn in the treatment of e.g. those with dementia reflect the ongoing human dignity that is being violated. Indignities licensed by the person in advance remain indignities, as when people might volunteer (...)
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  2. Targeting the Fetal Body and/or Mother-Child Connection: Vital Conflicts and Abortion.Helen Watt & Anthony McCarthy - 2019 - The Linacre Quarterly:1-14.
    Is the “act itself” of separating a pregnant woman and her previable child neither good nor bad morally, considered in the abstract? Recently, Maureen Condic and Donna Harrison have argued that such separation is justified to protect the mother’s life and that it does not constitute an abortion as the aim is not to kill the child. In our article on maternal–fetal conflicts, we agree there need be no such aim to kill (supplementing aims such as to remove). However, we (...)
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    Double Effect Reasoning: Why We Need It.Helen Watt - 2017 - Ethics and Medicine 33 (1):13-19.
    The “principle of double effect” is a vital tool for moral decision making and is applicable to all areas of medical practice, including (for example) end-of-life care, transplant medicine, and cases of conscientious objection. Both our ultimate and our more immediate intentions are relevant in making and evaluating choices— though side effects must be kept proportionate and can be morally conclusive when linked with some intentions. Intentions help to form the character of doctors, and of human beings generally. While hypocrisy (...)
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