Death by non-feeding: Not in the baby's best interests [Book Review]
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Journal of Medical Humanities and Bioethics 7 (2):79-90 (1986)
It has recently been suggested that doctors have a duty to act in their patient's best interest and that this duty demands that life-sustaining treatment—including food and fluids—should sometimes be withheld or withdrawn and the patient allowed to die. In this article, the author explores the scope of the ‘best interests principle’ in the context of treatment decisions for seriously handicapped newborn infants. She argues that those who hold that it is permissible to starve or dehydrate an infant to death are mistaken to think that this course of action is in the infant's best interests. While it may be true that there are times whendeath is, everything considered, in an infant's best interests, a slow and distressingmethod of bringing death about is not. Since death by dehydration and starvation is not benign, the withholding of food and fluids is generally not in an infant's best interests. The author concludes by suggesting thatwhenever the withdrawal or non-employment of life-sustaining means imposes a heavy burden on the infant, the ‘best interests principle’ would demand that the infant be killed rather than allowed to die
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
Michael Tooley (1972). Abortion and Infanticide. Philosophy and Public Affairs 2 (1):37-65.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Chris Kaposy (2007). Can Infants Have Interests in Continued Life? Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 28 (4):301-330.
Loretta M. Kopelman (2005). Rejecting the Baby Doe Rules and Defending a "Negative" Analysis of the Best Interests Standard. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 30 (4):331 – 352.
D. Micah Hester (2007). Interests and Neonates: There is More to the Story Than We Explicitly Acknowledge. Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 28 (5):357-372.
Loretta M. Kopelman & Arthur E. Kopelman (2007). Using a New Analysis of the Best Interests Standard to Address Cultural Disputes: Whose Data, Which Values? Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 28 (5):373-391.
Andrew Chignell (2001). Infant Suffering Revisited. Religious Studies 37 (4):475-484.
Kristin Savell (2011). Confronting Death in Legal Disputes About Treatment-Limitation in Children. Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 8 (4):363-377.
D. Wilkinson (2006). Is It in the Best Interests of an Intellectually Disabled Infant to Die? Journal of Medical Ethics 32 (8):454-459.
Jacqueline A. Laing (2008). Food and Fluids: Human Law, Human Rights and Human Interests. In C. Tollefsen (ed.), Artificial Nutrition and Hydration. Springer Press. 77--100.
Nathan Nobis (2001). ‘Balancing Out’ Infant Torture and Death: A Reply to Chignell. Religious Studies 37 (1):103-108.
Andrew Chignell (1998). The Problem of Infant Suffering. Religious Studies 34 (2):205-217.
Dominic Wilkinson (2011). Should We Replace Disabled Newborn Infants? Journal of Moral Philosophy 8 (3):390-414.
Neven Sesardic (2007). Sudden Infant Death or Murder? A Royal Confusion About Probabilities. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 58 (2):299 - 329.
Nathan Nobis (2002). The Real Problem of Infant and Animal Suffering. Philo 5 (2):216-225.
Aaron Simmons (2012). Do Embryos Have Interests? Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 9 (1):57-66.
Faith E. Fletcher, Paul Ndebele & Maureen C. Kelley (2008). Infant Feeding and Hiv in Sub-Saharan Africa: What Lies Beneath the Dilemma? Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 29 (5):307-330.
Added to index2010-08-30
Total downloads12 ( #180,573 of 1,696,258 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #333,741 of 1,696,258 )
How can I increase my downloads?