This article argues that investigators doing developmental and social research with children have, for the most part, failed to acknowledge the inherent implications of their work for children'srights. The impact of these studies upon children'srights occurs at every stage; from hypothesis formulation to hypothesis testing to dissemination of findings. This paper addresses the issue in the context of developmental research on children's ability to report experienced events accurately. This particular research area has generated (...) data that has been extrapolated to legal contexts and created a foundation for assumptions about the credibility of child witnesses. This in turn has had profound effects on children's right to be heard and the weight given to their testimony. The argument is made that there is a need for social scientists to explicitly articulate how their work may impact upon children'srights and what is in fact the social agenda in this regard underlying their research. (shrink)
This paper considers what are the appropriate limits of parental or guardian proxy consent for a child's participation in medical or social science research. Such proxy consent, it is proposed, is invalid in regards “non-therapeutic research.” The latter research may add to scientific knowledge and/or benefit others, but any benefit to the child research participant is but a coincidental theoretical possibility and not a primary objective. Research involving children, without intended and acceptable prospect of beneficial outcome to the individual participant, (...) even if with negligible risk, does not meet the test for “best interests.” Proxy consent for children's involvement in research is justifiable only when given for and on behalf of the child in his or her best interest to enhance the child's well-being. Only in the latter case is the parental proxy consent situation analogous in regards key criteria to a competent individual consenting to research participation. (shrink)
This paper argues that liberal tenats that justify intervention to promote the welfare of an incompetent do not suffice as a basis for analyzing parent-child relationships, and that this inadequacy is the basis for many of the problems that arise when thinking about the state's role in resolving family conflicts, particularly when monitoring parental discretion in medical decision-making on behalf of a child. The state may be limited by the best interest criterion when dealing with children, but parents are not. (...) The state's relation with the child is formal while the parental relation is intimate, having its own goals and purposes. While the liberal canons insist on the incompetent one's best interest, parents are permitted to compromise the child's interests for ends related to these familial goals and purposes. Parents decisions should be supervened, in general, only if it can be shown that no responsible mode of thinking warrants such treatment of a child. Keywords: proxy medical consent, children'srights, state's protection of children, parental authority and the state's intervention, paternalism, liberalism, parental values CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this? (shrink)
Abstract. In this paper, which was among Don Browning's last writings before he died, we review and evaluate the main arguments against the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (the “CRC”) that conservative American Christians in particular have opposed. While we take their objections seriously, we think that, on balance, the CRC is worthy of ratification, especially if it is read in light of the profamily ethic that informs the CRC and many earlier human rights (...) instruments. More fundamentally, we think that the CRC captures some of the very best traditional Western legal and theological teachings on marriage, family, and children, which we retrieve and reconstruct for our day. (shrink)
By blurring the distinction between formal school and education writ large, homeschooling both highlights and complicates the tensions among the interests of parents, children, and the state. In this essay, Robert Kunzman argues for a modest version of children's educational rights, at least in a legal sense that the state has the duty and authority to enforce. At the same time, however, it is important to retain a principled distinction between schooling and education—not only to protect children's (...) basic educational rights, but also to prevent the state from overreaching into the private realm of the home and family. (shrink)
Somerville, Margaret Over the millennia of human history, the idea that children - at least those born into a marriage - had rights with respect to their biological parents was taken for granted and reflected in law and public policy. But with same-sex marriage, which gives same-sex spouses the right to found a family, that is no longer the case. Likewise, children'srights with respect to their biological origins were not an issue when there was no technoscience (...) that could be used to manipulate or change those origins: a baby could only be conceived in vivo through sexual reproduction. But with assisted human reproductive technologies (ARTs) and genetic technologies, that, too, is no longer the case. So, in light of these new realities, what are our obligations, as societies, to children with respect to their biological origins and biological families? What protections do children need and deserve? I propose that the most fundamental human right of all is a child's right to be born from natural human biological origins and that children also have human rights with respect to knowing who their biological parents and families are, and that these rights must be recognized. Children also have a right to be reared within their biological families and to have a mother and a father, unless an exception can be justified as being in the 'best interests' of a particular child. The connection among adoption, the use of new reproductive technologies, and same-sex marriage is that they all unlink child-parent biological bonds. Each context raises one or more of three important issues: children's right to know the identities of their biological parents; children's right to both a mother and a father, preferably their own biological parents; and children's right to come into being with genetic origins that have not been tampered with; that is, 'designing' our children should be prohibited. Such 'designing' would result in losses with implications far beyond those persons directly affected and far beyond the present time. It would undermine the rights to equality and freedom of future generations. Because the liberty and equality of all citizens is at the heart of democratic societal institutions and of the values that democratic societies promote, to create people who are neither free nor equal undermines those institutions and values. In short, not to prohibit 'designer children' would undermine the very foundations of our Western democratic societies. (shrink)
Worldwide, many impoverished parents migrate, leaving their children behind. As a result children are deprived of continuity in care and, sometimes, suffer from other forms of emotional and developmental harms. I explain why coercive responses to care drain are illegitimate and likely to be inefficient. Poor parents have a moral right to migrate without their children and restricting their migration would violate the human right to freedom of movement and create a new form of gender injustice. I propose and defend (...) an institutional solution. Taxes levied on the remittances sent by temporary migrants ought to be used to provide migrants' children with psychological counselling in order to mitigate the harm resulted from discontinuity in care. (shrink)
: Events surrounding the September 11 terrorist attacks on the United States raise compelling moral questions about the effects of war and globalization on children in many parts of the world. This paper adopts Sartre's notion of freedom, particularly its connection with materiality and intersubjectivity, to assess the moral responsibility that we have as a global community toward our most vulnerable members. We conclude by examining important first steps that should be taken to address the plight of children.
Children are young human beings. Some children are very young human beings. As human beings children evidently have a certain moral status. There are things that should not be done to them for the simple reason that they are human. At the same time children are different from adult human beings and it seems reasonable to think that there are things children may not do that adults are permitted to do. In the majority of jurisdictions, for instance, children are not (...) allowed to vote, to marry, to buy alcohol, to have sex, or to engage in paid employment. What makes children a special case for philosophical consideration is this combination of their humanity and their youth, or, more exactly, what is thought to be associated with their youth. One very obvious way in which the question of what children are entitled to do or to be or to have is raised is by asking, Do children have rights? If so, do they have all the rights that adults have and do they have rights that adults do not have? If they do not have rights how do we ensure that they are treated in the morally right way? Most jurisdictions accord children legal rights. Most countries—though not the United States of America—have ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child which was first adopted in 1989. The Convention accords to children a wide range of rights including, most centrally, the right to have their ‘best interests’ be ‘a primary consideration’ in all actions concerning them (Article 3), the ‘inherent right to life’ (Article 6), and the right of a child “who is capable of forming his or her own views … to express these views freely in all matters affecting the child” (Article 12) (United Nations 1989). However it is normal to distinguish between ‘positive’ rights, those that are recognised in law, and ‘moral’ rights, those that are recognised by some moral.. (shrink)
Federal guidelines require that informed consent be obtained from participants when they are enrolled in a research study. When conducting research with children, the guidelines utilize the term permission to describe parents' agreement to enroll their children in a study. The basic components of consent and permission are well described and identical, with the exception of the person for whom the decision to participate is being made (i.e., oneself as opposed to one's child). Beyond permission, when enrolling minor participants in (...) research, affirmative agreement to participate in research or assent must be obtained from the child participants themselves. The concept of children's assent to research, however, is poorly defined, resulting in inconsistency in its pursuit and, consequently, in its utility. The interface between cognitive development, emotional, and social development must be examined as it pertains to this special situation of decision making. For this process to meaningfully protect minors, the assent process must be clarified, decisions regarding parental veto power must be more convincingly justified, and researchers must be better educated and held accountable for the valid execution of this process. Strategies for implementing the assent process more effectively are presented. (shrink)
This paper will explore the application of an account of justice in health and health care to the special case of children. It is tempting to hold that children require no special treatment in an account of just health care; justice requires guaranteeing access to at least basic health care services to all persons, whatever their age group, within the constraints of a society's resources. However, I will argue that for a number of reasons we need to address what justice (...) requires specifically for children from the health care system, even if the answer must be embedded within a general account of justice in health and health care. (shrink)
This paper explores the current practice dilemmas and common ideologies that characterize inter-country adoption in Ireland and explores these issues through a child rights lens. The social and historical development and construction of adoption are examined in order to outline the broad parameters within which inter-country adoption occurs in Ireland. The role of social workers in this complex and specialized area of work is examined and some of the questions posed by adoption professionals are highlighted. A real consideration for (...) the best interests of children is put into perspective and the role of the social worker as a child rights advocate is given recognition. (shrink)
This article examines women’s rights to property in marriage, upon divorce, and upon the death of a spouse in Uganda, highlighting the problematic aspects in both the state-made (statutory) and non-state-made (customary and religious) laws. It argues that, with the exception of the 1995 Constitution, the subordinate laws that regulate the distribution, management, and ownership of property during marriage, upon divorce, and death of a spouse are discriminatory of women. It is shown that even where the relevant statutory laws (...) are protective of women’s rights to property, their implementation is hindered by customary law practices, socialization, and the generally weak economic capacity of many women in the country. The article delves into the even weaker position of women’s rights to matrimonial property at customary and religious laws. In many homes, wives provide labor to support their husbands without having a stake in the use or monetary benefit from it. Under Islamic law regulating intestate succession to property, the entitlements for widows fall short of the constitutional standards on equality and non-discrimination. Polygyny is widely practiced by Muslims implying that the widows share the one eighth whenever there are children or one fourth in cases when there are no children. Radical reforms such as adopting an immediate community property regime instead of the present separate property regime are inevitable if women’s rights to property are to advance. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: Introduction Marcia J. Bunge; Part I. Religious Understandings of Children and Obligations to Them: Central Beliefs and Practices: 1. The concept of the child embedded in Jewish law Elliot N. Dorff; 2. Children's spirituality in the Jewish narrative tradition Sandy Eisenberg Sasso; 3. Christian understandings of children and obligations to them: central Biblical themes and resources Marcia J. Bunge; 4. Human dignity and social responsibility: Catholic Social Thought on children William Werpehowski; 5. Islam, children, and (...) modernity - a Qur'anic perspective Farid Esack; 6. Linking past and present: educating Muslim children in diverse cultural contexts Lily Zakiyah Munir and Azim Nanji; 7. Imagining childism: how childhood should transform religious ethics John Wall; 8. Talking about childhood and engaging children: a Christian perspective on interfaith dialogue Nelly Van Doorn-Harder; Part II. Specific Responsibilities of Children and Adults: Selected Contemporary Issues and Challenges: 9. Will I have Jewish grandchildren?: Cultural transmission and ethical concerns among ethnoreligious minorities Sylvia Barack Fishman; 10. Muslim youth and religious identity: classical perspectives and contemporary challenges Marcia Hermansen; 11. Honor your father and your mother: a Christian perspective in dialogue with contemporary psychological theories Annemie Dillen; 12. Work, play, labor, and chores: Christian ethical reflection on children and vocation Bonnie Miller-McLemore; 13. Orphans and adoption: Biblical themes, Christian initiatives, and contemporary ethical concerns Keith Graber Miller; 14. Second-hand children: a Jewish ethics of foster care in an age of desire Laurie Zoloth; 15. Christianity's mixed contributions to children'srights: traditional teachings, modern doubts Don Browning and John Witte, Jr; 16. Children'srights in modern Islamic and international law: changes in Muslim moral imaginaries Ebrahim Moosa; Appendix I. Selected primary texts; Appendix II. United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child; Index of names; Index of subjects. (shrink)
This paper examines the complexity and fluidity of maternal identity through an examination of narratives about "real motherhood" found in children's literature. Focusing on the multiplicity of mothers in adoption, I question standard views of maternity in which gestational, genetic and social mothering all coincide in a single person. The shortcomings of traditional notions of motherhood are overcome by developing a fluid and inclusive conception of maternal reality as authored by a child's own perceptions.
The topic of this article is morality among pre-school children.Two different theories of morality, morality as lived and morality asrationality of thought, are analyzed with a special view to exploringtheir respective consequences for doing research on small children'smorality. Children's lived morality is then interpreted and discussed interms of rights.
Margaret Mohrmann, Paul Lauritzen, and Sumner Twiss raise questions about my account of basic interests, liberal theory, and the challenges of multiculturalism as developed in "Children, Ethics, and Modern Medicine." Their questions point to foundational issues regarding the justification and limitation of parental authority to make decisions on behalf of children in medical and other contexts. One of the central questions in that regard is whether adults' decisions deserve to be respected, especially when they seem contrary to a child's or (...) adolescent's basic interests. Questions about respect, in turn, focus attention on others' decisions about what seems good for families and children, decisions that may be paternalistic or utilitarian. Such decisions are further complicated by a child's or adolescent's budding autonomy and need for respect and recognition. Pediatric bioethics grounded in an account of a child's basic interests produces a theory of negative and positive rights for assessing adults' actions in relation to children, especially (but not only) when adults demand respect in their expressions of care. (shrink)
In Licensing Parents, Michael McFall argues that political structures, economics, education, racism, and sexism are secondary in importance to the inequality caused by families, and that the family plays the primary role in a child's acquisition of a sense of justice. He demonstrates that examination of the family is necessary in political philosophy and that informal structures (families) and considerations (character formation) must be taken seriously. McFall advocates a threshold that should be accepted by all political philosophers: children should not (...) be severely abused or neglected because child maltreatment often causes deep and irreparable individual and societal harm. The implications of this threshold are revolutionary, but this is not recognized fully because no philosophical book has systematically considered the ethical or political ramifications of child maltreatment. -/- By exposing a tension between the rights of children and adults, McFall reveals pervasive ageism; parental rights usually trump children'srights, and this is often justified because children are not fully autonomous. Yet parental rights should not always trump children'srights. Ethics and political philosophy are not only about rights, but also about duties--especially when considering potential parents who are unable or unwilling to provide minimally decent nurturance. While contemporary political philosophy focuses on adult rights, McFall examines systems whereby the interests and rights of children and parents are better balanced. This entails exploring when parental rights are defeasible and defending the ethics of licensing parents, whereby some people are precluded from rearing children. He argues that, if a sense of justice is largely developed in childhood, parents directly influence the character of future generations of adults in political society. A completely stable and well-ordered society needs stable and psychologically healthy citizens in addition to just laws, and McFall demonstrates how parental love and healthy families can help achieve this. (shrink)
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Arguing that everyone has a right to privacy as control overaccess to `intimate' aspects of one's life, this author draws on thework of Julie Inness to discuss children'srights to privacy inclassrooms. Even if it is agreed that pupils should exercise this right,a central point is that there may be moral or other value considerationsthat justify setting the right aside. Among selected complexities, animportant extension is the right to psychological processes throughwhich learners acquire new knowledge.
Teachers White and Thompson allowed students to explore the primary-source readings from several philosophers in a 5th grade course called Apogee. The essay is written with a focus on Patience and other virtues.
Proponents of children's liberation (CL) argue that there are no morally relevant differences between children and adults. Consequently, special protective laws that limit children's freedom are unjustified, and should be abolished. Protectionists reject the premise of this argument, and hence also the conclusion. Proponents of CL mostly fix upon the capacity for instrumental reasoning as the criterion that should separate autonomous from non-autonomous individuals. I argue that most children are substantially worse at instrumental reasoning than most adults, and (...) although drawing a line between the two categories has an arbitrary element, outstanding exceptions on both sides can be justly accommodated. Furthermore, the capacity for instrumental reasoning is a necessary but not sufficient basis for equal rights. A morally decent society is more demanding of individuals than the skeptical or libertarian one that most plausibly grounds CL. To construct and live in such a society requires both prudence and morality. But there is evidence that children need protection and limits to develop these traits. So there are morally relevant differences between children and adults after all, and the argument from justice fails. The utilitarian arm of the argument also fails: because of these morally relevant differences, CL would have worse consequences than those envisioned by its supporters. Parents would lose important authority, and there would be more homeless children. Consequently, the gap between advantaged and disadvantaged persons would become larger and more irreversible. (shrink)
Significant improvements in human rights and democracy have been made since the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the United Nations in 1948. Yet, human rights, especially women's rights, are still being violated in many parts of the developing world. The adverse effects of such violations on women's and children's health are well known, but they are rarely measured. This study uses cross-national data from over 145 countries to estimate the impact of (...) democracy and respect for human rights on various measures of women's health while controlling for confounding socio-economic factors such as income, education, fertility and healthcare. It finds that democracy and regards for human rights contribute positively to women's health outcomes, as do socio-economic variables. (shrink)
It has been recommended that parents should monitor their children’s Internet use, including what sites their children visit, what messages they receive, and what they post. In this paper, I claim that parents ought not to follow this advice, because to do so would violate children’s right to privacy over their on-line information exchanges. In defense of this claim, I argue that children have a right to privacy from their parents, because such a right respects their current capacities and fosters (...) their future capacities for autonomy and relationships. (shrink)
There is an increased focus on, and evidence of, children's capability to both understand and make decisions about issues relating to participation in medical research. At the same time there are divergent ideas of when, how and to what extent children should be allowed to decide for themselves. Furthermore, little is known about parents' views on these matters, an important issue since they often provide the formal consent. In this questionnaire study of 2500 families in south-east Sweden (with and (...) without research experience) we explored parents' views on issues relating to information, consent and research data. We found that parents are generally positive about supplying their child with individual information (93.3%; median age 7) and assuring the child's consent/assent to participation (74.3%; median age 12). However, parents' views vary regarding the extent to which children should influence research data: as many as 47–61% of our sample were opposed to children'srights to decide about the use and storage of biological samples and natural history data. Parents who are opposed to child consent and a wider influence on their research participation argue that parental authority and research quality are two important factors opposing enhanced child influence. Drawing on this, we underline the need to discuss how to balance children'srights against parental autonomy and research interests before implementing any standardized protocols granting children the right to consent and revoke data in long-term research. (shrink)
The concept of the ‘well-being of the child’ (like the ‘child’s welfare’ and ‘best interests of the child’) has remained underdetermined in legal and ethical texts on the needs and rights of children. As a hypothetical construct that draws attention to the child’s long-term welfare, the well-being of the child is a broader concept than autonomy and happiness. This paper clarifies some conceptual issues of the well-being of the child from a philosophical point of view. The main question is (...) how well-being could in practice acquire a concrete meaning and content for a particular issue or situation. A phenomenological-hermeneutic research perspective will be outlined that allows the child’s well-being to be elucidated and specified as an anthropological and ethical idea. It is based on a contextual understanding of generative relationships, a combination of the theory and practice of making sense, here described as ‘generative insight’, which could provide ethical guidance for decision making in families, legal practice, medicine or biomedical research. (shrink)
The article analyzes one of the fundamental rights – the right to maintenance, which proper implementation ensures normal development of the child. This right matches with the duty of parents to maintain their minor children. Paragraph 6 of Article 38 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania states that parents have a duty to educate their children to be honest people and loyal citizens, supporting them until adulthood. The obligation to maintain children is established in the first 3.192 (...) Article paragraph of the Civil Code of the Republic of Lithuania, and the responsibility for avoiding to maintain a child is provided in Article 164 of the Criminal Code. The article discusses the fact that the analysis of criminal law rate is not precise enough. Article 164 of the Criminal Code does not match with the child maintenance methods specified in the CC Article 3.196 paragraph 1. Since criminal liability is only for judgment in default in civil cases, a person shall only be liable for breaking the right to maintain a child, provided in the CC 3.196 paragraph 1. This article deeply analyzes the problematic qualification aspects of the avoidance to maintain a child. Some alternative ways of child maintenance are mentioned, as can be chosen from other law instruments (bailiffs, Guarantee child support fund) and it leads to the ultima ratio principle. On the other hand, it is not required to seek alternative remedies for affected interests, and it is possible to initiate a pre-trial investigation. Therefore, this article seeks to identify specific civil and criminal law rules delimitation. Avoidance of child maintenance is an ongoing crime. The main problem in legal practice is to determine an end of this ongoing criminal conduct. The practice of the Supreme Court of Lithuania is not unanimous. In some cases, the end of this ongoing conduct is considered to be a moment when the past judgment has entered into force, in other cases – the moment of indictment. These positions are criticized by many authors and it is suggested to follow the Supreme Court’s practice, according to which the moment when a judgment of conviction for the criminal act is passed should be considered as an end of an ongoing criminal conduct. (shrink)
Intensive professional testing of children with disabilities is becoming increasingly prominent within the field of children’s rehabilitation. In this paper we question the high quality ascribed to standardized assessment procedures. We explore testing practices using a hermeneutic-phenomenological approach analyzing data from interviews and participant observations among 20 children with disabilities and their parents. All the participating children have extensive experience from being tested. This study reveals that the practices of testing have certain limitations when confronted with the lived experience of (...) those who are being tested. Testing seems to transmit the experts’ view of what is important, correct and admirable, and the way in which an individual child fulfills such requirements and fits in with the predetermined standard. Regular testing may result in insecurity on the part of the tested individual, and possibly to a lack of confidence in their body and the way it functions. For the individual being tested the meaning of testing is primarily related to passing or not passing the test requirements. Given the meaning of testing, children with disabilities may experience repeated testing as an ordeal that they are expected to put up with. By illuminating the experiences of the ones exposed to testing, this paper offers new insight for professionals to gauge more accurately the quality of contemporary testing practice. (shrink)