# Examples for real-world instances of trolley cases [closed]

Trolley cases are scenarios that play an important role in a specific kind of thought experiment, famously published by Philippa Foot. Here's just one of the many formulations:

Consider a pair of scenarios called Rescue I and Rescue II (MD 80). In both cases, we are driving a jeep along a sea shore and have the chance to save various configurations of stranded people from an incoming tide. In the first case, we are about to save one person from the tide, and spot five others whom we can save, but we cannot save both. In Rescue II, we can save five, but to reach them we would for some reason would have to run over one person, killing him. (Source: SEP entry)

Them being thought experiments, it is not necessary for such cases to have actually obtained so that they can be of value in philosophy. Still, it might be interesting to know if there are any recorded cases of events that roughly approximate the conditions in one of the trolley scenarios - and also how humans in these situations have reacted.

My question is: Which real-world events have been recorded (in newspapers, first-hand reports, etc.) that approximate one of the abstract formulations of trolley cases to a high degree? I'd be interested to learn (a) which specific trolley scenario they approximate, (b) how the humans in these situations acted, and (c) how their action was judged in hindsight, by themselves or others, such as judges, the authorities, the victims, public opinion, etc.

• A piece of research closely simulating the original trolley problem was done. Does that count? The results were interesting. youtu.be/1sl5KJ69qiA Feb 4 at 15:21
• Camus' story that became known as Sophie's Choice is a possible candidate, but its historical roots are questionable. Feb 4 at 18:59
• See The Trolley Problem Has Been Tested in 'Real Life' For The Very First Time, but it was in a specially conducted experiment. Burke suggests that covid lockdowns represent a real life case somewhat analogous to the trolley problem, damaging many to save fewer, see An Actual Trolley Problem. Feb 5 at 23:48
• Could someone explain to me why this question was closed? Feb 17 at 11:02