Activating the Right to Be Rescued

Research output: Contribution to journalResearch articleContributedpeer-review



When a person finds herself in peril her right to be rescued is activated and a rescue duty is imposed on those who are in a position to help. In this article, I argue that the activation of the right to be rescued needs to be suitably constrained so that the rescuee is prevented from arbitrarily controlling the normative situation between herself and potential rescuers. Such control would be in conflict with the moral equality of persons. I argue that the activation of the right to be rescued should be conditional on the person having a justification for the action that caused her peril. One implication of my view is that the right to be rescued cannot fulfill the function that Jonathan Quong ascribes to it. The right to be rescued turns out to be an unsuitable ground for the necessity condition which constrains the permissible use of defensive force.


Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Moral Philosophy
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jul 2022

External IDs

Scopus 85135053836
Mendeley 09a9105f-e83f-37dc-9206-5d2771ed4dcf


ASJC Scopus subject areas


  • necessity condition, duty imposition, right to be rescued, self-defense