Definition of double effect in English:

Share this entry

double effect


(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.
Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.