Start Submission Become a Reviewer

Reading: Interest and Permissibility: The Case of Mary and Jodie

Download

A- A+
Alt. Display

Essays

Interest and Permissibility: The Case of Mary and Jodie

Author:

James Matharu

About James

B.Sc. Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method. I am indebted to Ben Ferguson, Mischa Van Den Brandhof and Alex Voorhoeve for their critical assessments of earlier versions of this paper.

X close

Abstract

The separation in 2001 of the conjoined-infants Mary and Jodie Attard resulted in Mary’s immediate death. This paper asks whether separation or non-separation was in the better interests of each twin and whether separation was morally permissible. I argue, with reference to Thomas Nagel’s (1970) analysis of harms in death, that it was in the better interests of both babies to be separated. However, with reference to Judith Thomson’s (1971) defence of abortion I argue that it was not a defence of their interests that could morally justify separation. Rather, separation was morally permissible only if performed in order to protect Jodie’s right to life, distinguished from her “interests”, against the threat posed to it by Mary’s relation to Jodie.

How to Cite: Matharu, J., 2010. Interest and Permissibility: The Case of Mary and Jodie. Rerum Causae, 2(1), pp.63–72.
Published on 01 Jan 2010.
Peer Reviewed

Downloads

  • PDF (EN)

    comments powered by Disqus