The Oxford Biblical Studies Online and Oxford Islamic Studies Online have retired. Content you previously purchased on Oxford Biblical Studies Online or Oxford Islamic Studies Online has now moved to Oxford Reference, Oxford Handbooks Online, Oxford Scholarship Online, or What Everyone Needs to Know®. For information on how to continue to view articles visit the subscriber services page.
Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD REFERENCE (www.oxfordreference.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single entry from a reference work in OR for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 23 March 2023

trolley problem. 

The Oxford Companion to Philosophy
Sarah RichmondSarah Richmond

Suppose you are driving a trolley whose brakes have failed. Ahead of you five people are standing on the track. But here the track forks, and on the alternative path one person stands. Is it morally permissible, or even required, to divert the trolley to save the five from death, at the cost of one? Most people's intuition is that this is at least morally permissible. Why, then, do we not think it permissible for a surgeon, in urgent need of five different organs to save five patients, to kill a healthy patient to procure them?... ...

Access to the complete content on Oxford Reference requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.