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The Rule of Rescue is a term coined by A.R. Jonsen in 1986 that is currently used in a variety of bioethics contexts[1]:

  • 'a perceived duty to save endangered life where possible' (Bochner et al., 1994, pp901)
  • 'the sense of immediate duty that people feel towards those who present themselves to a health service with a serious condition' (Nord et al., 1995b, pp90)
  • 'an ethical imperative to save individual lives even when money might be more efficiently spent to prevent deaths in the larger population'(Doughety, 1993, pp1359)
  • 'the powerful human proclivity to rescue a single identified endangered life, regardless of cost, at the expense of any nameless faces who will therefore be denied health care' (Osborne and Evans, 1994, pp779)

See also


  1. ^ McKie, John & Jeff Richardson (2003) "The Rule of Rescue" Social Science & Medicine Volume 56, Issue 12, June 2003, Pages 2407-2419


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