Choice

The moral questions of war

BMJ 2003; 326 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.326.7393.0/f (Published 12 April 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;326:f
  1. Richard Smith (rsmith@bmj.com), editor

    “Morality,” said Gandhi, “is contraband in war.” It may come down to nothing more than kill or be killed, maim or be maimed. But war constantly throws up moral questions.

    Some argue that war can never be morally justified, and Benjamin Franklin, one of America's founding fathers, believed: “There never was a good war or a bad peace.” International law accepts the notion of a just war, but it's worth remembering the seven conditions of such a war. The cause must be just. A lawful authority must decide to resort to force. The intention of the war must accord …

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