Violinists run amuck in South Dakota : screen doors down in the Badlands!

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Abstract

[I]magine this. You wake up in the morning and find yourself back to back in bed with ... [a] famous unconscious violinist ... the Society of Music Lovers has ... found that you alone have the right blood type to help. They have therefore kidnapped you, and last night the violinist's circulatory system was plugged into yours, so that your kidneys can be used to extract poisons from his blood as well as your own .... To unplug you would be to kill him. But never mind, it's only for nine months. By then he will have recovered .... Is it morally incumbent on you to accede to this situation?... What if it were not nine months .... What if the director of the hospital says, 'Tough luck, I agree, but you've now got to stay in bed, with the violinist plugged into you, for the rest of your life. Because remember this. All persons have a right to life .... Granted you have a right to decide what happens in and to your body, but a person's right to life outweighs your right to decide what happens in and to your body. So you cannot ever be unplugged from him.' (Thomson: 48-9).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)267-281
JournalPhilosophical Papers
Volume35
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2006

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Violinist
Blood
Person
Right to Life
Incumbents
Luck
Music
Poison
Kidney
Night
Lovers

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title = "Violinists run amuck in South Dakota : screen doors down in the Badlands!",
abstract = "[I]magine this. You wake up in the morning and find yourself back to back in bed with ... [a] famous unconscious violinist ... the Society of Music Lovers has ... found that you alone have the right blood type to help. They have therefore kidnapped you, and last night the violinist's circulatory system was plugged into yours, so that your kidneys can be used to extract poisons from his blood as well as your own .... To unplug you would be to kill him. But never mind, it's only for nine months. By then he will have recovered .... Is it morally incumbent on you to accede to this situation?... What if it were not nine months .... What if the director of the hospital says, 'Tough luck, I agree, but you've now got to stay in bed, with the violinist plugged into you, for the rest of your life. Because remember this. All persons have a right to life .... Granted you have a right to decide what happens in and to your body, but a person's right to life outweighs your right to decide what happens in and to your body. So you cannot ever be unplugged from him.' (Thomson: 48-9).",
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Violinists run amuck in South Dakota : screen doors down in the Badlands! / Cox, D.; Levine, Michael.

In: Philosophical Papers, Vol. 35, No. 2, 2006, p. 267-281.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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