Using bioethics discourse to determine when parents should make health care decisions for their children: Is deference justified?
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
This Article critiques the current law governing health care decisionmaking for children, and proposes changes in the law consistent with bioethics principles. The basic criticism of existing law is that it is rooted in a rights-based discourse, in which the sick child's interests are decided in the shadow of a parental deference presumption. As a result, too much deference is given to some parents and too little deference to others. Moreover, many of these cases are decided in the context of abuse and neglect, which fails to recognize the moral nature of these medico-ethical decisions. This Article proposes that the rights-based discourse be replaced by a bioethics discourse, guided by the core principles of beneficence and autonomy. With this change in focus, parents would be entitled to deference to the extent the patient's interests were futhered. Specifically, parents would be able to make health care decisions, unless they possessed a conflict of interest making it unlikely that they would be able to serve the child patient's interests. The Article sets forth a taxonomy of categorical and situational conflicts. If a conflict exists, a court must determine the patient's best interests. If a conflict does not exist, parents can make health care decisions within a protected zone of privacy.
|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
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Rebecca Kukla (2005). Conscientious Autonomy: Displacing Decisions in Health Care. Hastings Center Report 35 (2):34-44.
John Harris & Søren Holm (2003). Should We Presume Moral Turpitude in Our Children? – Small Children and Consent to Medical Research. Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 24 (2):121-129.
Gretchen B. Chapman & Frank A. Sonnenberg (eds.) (2000). Decision Making in Health Care: Theory, Psychology, and Applications. Cambridge University Press.
Amy Mullin (2006). Parents and Children: An Alternative to Selfless and Unconditional Love. Hypatia 21 (1):181-200.
Douglas Diekema (2004). Parental Refusals of Medical Treatment: The Harm Principle as Threshold for State Intervention. Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 25 (4):243-264.
Michael Gill, Picu Prometheus: Ethical Issues in the Treatment of Very Sick Children in Paediatric Intensive Care.
Kenneth Hickey & Laurie Lyckholm (2004). Child Welfare Versus Parental Autonomy: Medical Ethics, the Law, and Faith-Based Healing. Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 25 (4):265-276.
A. S. Iltis (2010). Toward a Coherent Account of Pediatric Decision Making. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 35 (5):526-552.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads10 ( #220,828 of 1,707,731 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #352,634 of 1,707,731 )
How can I increase my downloads?