How Important Numbers Are in Rescuing Lives. A Debate on John Taurek (in Polish)

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Barbara Chyrowicz


The controversies related to John Taurek’s rescue case concern the importance of numbers in deciding about whom to help in situations in which there is a shortage of means. Taurek thinks that the number of the needy does not matter; we can save one person rather than many people. Since both common sense and the duty to responsibly administer help make us approve the decision to help those who are more in number, Taurek’s thesis seems counterintuitive. The majority of authors discussing Taurek’s thesis defend the importance of numbers in such decisions, and few are inclined to accept some of his intuitions, recognizing the counting of people who need help as morally problematic. However, the authors who defend the importance of numbers reject a simple utilitarian approach and try to justify the claim that the majority should have priority in such a way that no person involved in the conflict of distribution could charge the rescuer with not having taken his or her claims into account.


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How to Cite
Chyrowicz, Barbara. 2017. “How Important Numbers Are in Rescuing Lives. A Debate on John Taurek (in Polish)”. Diametros, no. 51 (March):1-27.
Equality in Healthcare
Author Biography

Barbara Chyrowicz, The John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin

Barbara Chyrowicz, prof. dr hab.Institute of PhilosophyThe John Paul II Catholic University of LublinAl. Raclawickie 14PL 20-950 LublinE-mail:

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