Definition of double effect in English:

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double effect

noun

(In ethics) the good and bad effect of an action, compared according to a principle that seeks to justify the action if the bad effect, though foreseen, is outweighed by the good effect.
Example sentences
  • First, it is a misinterpretation to claim that the principle of double effect shows that agents may permissibly bring about harmful effects provided that they are merely foreseen side effects of promoting a good end.
  • But the principle of double effect also covers cases when the harm is foreseen.
  • Whatever its merits, the doctrine of double effect is quite separate from the claim that we are not responsible for the results of our omissions.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: dou·ble ef·fect

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