Distanced perspectives: Aids, anencephaly, and ahp [Book Review]

US court decisions guaranteeing life-sustaining care to anencephalic infants have been viewed with disfavor, and sometimes disbelief, by some ethicists who do not believe in the necessity of life-sustaining support for those without cognitive abilities or an independently sustainable future. The distance between these two views – one legal and inclusive, the other medical and specific – seems unbridgeable. This paper reports on a program using multicriterion decision making to define and describe persons in a way which both acknowledges the differences perceived by many as well as those commonalities insisted on in U.S. court decisions. It does this through application of the Analytic Hierarchy Process to a hierarchy of humanness criteria, and secondarily through reference to that concept''s subset, personhood.
Keywords anencephaly  AHP  Baby K  humanhood  multicriterion decision making  personhood
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