Critical Notice: Why Killing Is Not Always Worse—and
Is Sometimes Better—Than Letting Die
HELGA KUHSE a1 a1 Centre for Human Bioethics at Monash
University, Melbourne, Australia, and
The philosophical debate over the moral difference
between killing and letting die has obvious relevance for
the contemporary public debate over voluntary euthanasia.
Winston Nesbitt claims to have shown that killing someone
is, other things being equal, always worse than allowing
someone to die. But this conclusion is illegitimate.
While Nesbitt is correct when he suggests that killing
is sometimes worse than letting die, this is not
always the case. In this article, I argue that there are
occasions when it is better to kill than to let die.