Parental consent and the use of dead children's bodies

Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 11 (4):337-358 (2001)
Abstract
: It has recently become known that, in Liverpool and elsewhere, parts of children's bodies were taken postmortem and used for research without the parents being told. But should parental consent be sought before using children's corpses for medical purposes? This paper presents the view that parental consent is overrated. Arguments are rejected for consent from dead children's interests, property rights, family autonomy, and religious freedom. The only direct reason to get parental consent is to avoid distressing the parents, which carries implications for the consent process, secret harvesting of body parts, and the weight to be given to parental feelings
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