About this topic
Summary Do children have rights? If so, do children's rights protect only children's interests, or do they also protect (some of the) children's choices? What rights do children have? Against which agents do children hold rights? Who ought to protect children's rights? How can children's rights be protected? Can all children's rights be legitimately implemented? What are the feasibility constraints on implementing children's rights?
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  1. Mandated Child Abuse Reporting.Richard Bourne, Eli H. Newberger & C. Sue White - forthcoming - Ethics and Behavior.
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  2. Children’s Rights, Well-Being, and Sexual Agency.Samantha Brennan & Jennifer Epp - forthcoming - In Alexander Bagattini and Colin MacLeod (ed.), The Wellbeing of Children in Theory and Practice.
  3. Child-Rearing With Minimal Domination: A Republican Account.Anca Gheaus - forthcoming - Political Studies.
    Parenting involves an extraordinary degree of power over children. Republicans are concerned about domination, which, on one view, is the holding of power that fails to track the interests of those over whom it is exercised. On this account, parenting as we know it is dominating due to the low standards necessary for acquiring and retaining parental rights and the extent of parental power. Domination cannot be fully eliminated from child-rearing without unacceptable loss of value. Most likely, republicanism requires that (...)
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  4. Wrongful Influence in Educational Contexts.John Tillson - forthcoming - In Kathryn Hytten (ed.), Oxford Encyclopedia of Philosophy of Education. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
    When and why are coercion, indoctrination, manipulation, deception, and bullshit morally wrongful modes of influence in the context of educating children? Answering this question requires identifying what valid claims different parties have against one another regarding how children are influenced. Most prominently among these, it requires discerning what claims children have regarding whether and how they and their peers are influenced, and against whom they have these claims. The claims they have are grounded in the weighty interests they each equally (...)
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  5. The Right to Bodily Integrity.A. M. Viens (ed.) - forthcoming - Ashgate.
    The right to bodily integrity has become a notable controversial issue within moral, political and legal discourse and this right is regarded as one of the most precious rights that persons have, alongside the right to life. Recent scholarly debate has focused attention on the content, scope and force of this right and has lead to the recognition that a better understanding of the nature of this right will contribute to determining whether and why a multitude of clinical and research (...)
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  6. The Best Available Parent.Anca Gheaus - 2021 - Ethics 131 (3):431-459.
    There is a broad philosophical consensus that both children’s and prospective parents’ interests are relevant to the justification of a right to parent. Against this view, I argue that it is impermissible to sacrifice children’s interests for the sake of advancing adults’ interest in childrearing. Therefore, the allocation of the moral right to parent should track the child’s, and not the potential parent’s, interest. This revisionary thesis is moderated by two additional qualifications. First, parents lack the moral right to exclude (...)
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  7. Creating ‘Family’ in Adoption From Care.Jenny Krutzinna - 2021 - In Tarja Pösö, Marit Skivenes & June Thoburn (eds.), Adoption from Care. International Perspectives on Children’s Rights, Family Preservation and State Intervention. Bristol, Storbritannia: pp. 195-213.
    Adoption may be defined as ‘the legal process through which the state establishes a parental relationship, with all its attendant rights and duties, between a child and a (set of) parent(s) where there exists no previous procreative relationship’ . In adoptions from care, state intervention effectively converts an established, or nascent, adult– child relationship into ‘family’ in the legal sense. From the state’s perspective, adoption thus entails the transfer of parental responsibilities for a child in public care to a private (...)
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  8. Equality, Self-Government, and Disenfranchising Kids: A Reply to Yaffe.Michael Cholbi - 2020 - Moral Philosophy and Politics 2020 (2):281-297.
    Gideon Yaffe has recently argued that children should be subject to lower standards of criminal liability because, unlike adults, they ought to be disenfranchised. Because of their disenfranchisement, they lack the legal reasons enfranchised adults have to comply with the law. Here I critically consider Yaffe’s argument for such disenfranchisement, which holds that disenfranchisement balances children’s interest in self-government with adults’ interest in having an equal say over lawmaking. I argue that Yaffe does not succeed in showing that these two (...)
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  9. Respecting Children’s Choices.Kalle Grill - 2020 - Moral Philosophy and Politics 7 (2):199-218.
    The traditional liberal view on conflicts between care for wellbeing and respect for choice and desire is that we should look to degrees of competence and voluntariness to determine which moral imperative should take priority. This view has likely influenced the common view that children’s choices should be considered only to the extent that this promotes their future autonomy and helps us determine their best interests. I reject both the general traditional liberal view and its application to children. Competence and (...)
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  10. Pox Parties for Grannies? Chickenpox, Exogenous Boosting, and Harmful Injustices.Heidi Malm & Mark Christopher Navin - 2020 - American Journal of Bioethics 20 (9):45-57.
    Some societies tolerate or encourage high levels of chickenpox infection among children to reduce rates of shingles among older adults. This tradeoff is unethical. The varicella zoster virus (VZV) causes both chickenpox and shingles. After people recover from chickenpox, VZV remains in their nerve cells. If their immune systems become unable to suppress the virus, they develop shingles. According to the Exogenous Boosting Hypothesis (EBH), a person’s ability to keep VZV suppressed can be ‘boosted’ through exposure to active chickenpox infections. (...)
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  11. Harming Children to Benefit Others: A Reply.Heidi Malm & Mark Christopher Navin - 2020 - American Journal of Bioethics 20 (12):W1-W6.
    We are pleased to have received such a varied set of commentaries on our target article, “Pox Parties for Grannies? Chickenpox, Exogenous Boosting, and Harmful Injustices,” and we are thankful for the opportunity to respond to some of them here. We regret that space limitations preclude us from responding to each. In what follows we will begin by addressing commentaries that expand the application of our arguments. We will then correct some seeming misunderstandings about our distinctions, arguments and thesis. We (...)
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  12. Mandating Vaccination.Anthony Skelton & Lisa Forsberg - 2020 - In Meredith Celene Schwartz (ed.), The Ethics of Pandemics. pp. 131-134.
    A short piece exploring some arguments for mandating vaccination for Covid-19.
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  13. Dignity, Development, and the Gravity of Child Soldiering.Renée Nicole Souris - 2020 - Archiv Fuer Rechts Und Sozialphilosophie 106 (3):465-475.
    This paper critically examines different formulations of the view that the crime of using child soldiers is less serious than other international crimes. The first formulation presents a sociological argument toward this conclusion and the second a deontological argument. After arguing that the second formulation is stronger, because it is grounded in a coherent ethical framework, I then construct a deontological argument to counter it, which construes the wrong of child soldiering as an attack on the developing child's right to (...)
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  14. Children’s Moral Rights and UK School Exclusions.John Tillson & Laura Oxley - 2020 - Theory and Research in Education 18 (4).
    This article argues that uses of exclusion by schools in the United Kingdom (UK) often violate children’s moral rights. It contends that while exclusion is not inherently incompatible with children’s moral rights, current practice must be reformed to align with them. It concludes that as a non-punitive preventive measure, there may be certain circumstances in schools where it is necessary to exclude a child in order to safeguard the weighty interests of others in the school community. However, reform is needed (...)
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  15. Guidance and Intervention Principles in Pediatrics: The Need for Pluralism.Mark Christopher Navin & Jason Wasserman - 2019 - Journal of Clinical Ethics 30 (3):201-6.
    Two core questions in pediatric ethics concern when and how physicians are ethically permitted to intervene in parental treatment decisions (intervention principles), and the goals or values that should direct physicians’ and parents’ decisions about the care of children (guidance principles). Lainie Friedman Ross argues in this issue of The Journal of Clinical Ethics that constrained parental autonomy (CPA) simultaneously answers both questions: physicians should intervene when parental treatment preferences fail to protect a child’s basic needs or primary goods, and (...)
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  16. Mary Shelley and the Rights of the Child: Political Philosophy in Frankenstein. By Eileen Hunt Botting. Pp. Xi, 220, Philadelphia, PA, The University of Pennsylvania Press, 2018, £32.00. [REVIEW]Agneta Sutton - 2019 - Heythrop Journal 60 (6):938-939.
  17. What Abolishing the Family Would Not Do.Anca Gheaus - 2018 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 21 (3):284-300.
    Because families disrupt fair patterns of distribution and, in particular, equality of opportunity, egalitarians believe that the institution of the family needs to be defended at the bar of justice. In their recent book, Harry Brighouse and Adam Swift have argued that the moral gains of preserving the family outweigh its moral costs. Yet, I claim that the egalitarian case for abolishing the family has been over-stated due to a failure to consider how alternatives to the family would also disturb (...)
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  18. Biological Parenthood: Gestational, Not Genetic.Anca Gheaus - 2018 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 96 (2):225-240.
    Common sense morality and legislations around the world ascribe normative relevance to biological connections between parents and children. Procreators who meet a modest standard of parental competence are believed to have a right to rear the children they brought into the world. I explore various attempts to justify this belief and find most of these attempts lacking. I distinguish between two kinds of biological connections between parents and children: the genetic link and the gestational link. I argue that the second (...)
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  19. Children's Vulnerability and Legitimate Authority Over Children.Anca Gheaus - 2018 - Journal of Applied Philosophy:60-75.
    Children's vulnerability gives rise to duties of justice towards children and determines when authority over them is legitimately exercised. I argue for two claims. First, children's general vulnerability to objectionable dependency on their caregivers entails that they have a right not to be subject to monopolies of care, and therefore determines the structure of legitimate authority over them. Second, children's vulnerability to the loss of some special goods of childhood determines the content of legitimate authority over them. My interest is (...)
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  20. The Routledge Handbook of the Philosophy of Childhood and Children.Anca Gheaus, Gideon Calder & Jurgen De Wispelaere (eds.) - 2018 - Routledge.
  21. Paternalism Towards Children.Kalle Grill - 2018 - In Anca Gheaus, Gideon Calder & Jurgen de Wispelaere (eds.), Routledge handbook of the philosophy of childhood and children. pp. 123-133.
    Debates on the nature and justifiability of paternalism typically focus only on adults, sometimes presuming without argument that paternalism towards children is a non-issue or obviously justified. Debates on the moral and political status of children, in turn, rarely connect with the rich literature on paternalism. This chapter attempts to bridge this gap by exploring how issues that arise in the general debate on paternalism are relevant also for the benevolent interference with children. I survey and discuss various views and (...)
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  22. Raising a Child with Respect.Norvin Richards - 2018 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 35 (S1):90-104.
    Parents whose children will become adults are expected to help them do so, as opposed to only keeping them alive while they manage it on their own. The parental help must respect the child's standing as a separate individual: our children aren't ours to shape to our design, even if our aim is to help them flourish. But then how are we to raise our children with respect for their individuality? According to Matthew Clayton, doing so requires refraining from attempting (...)
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  23. Parents, Privacy, and Facebook: Legal and Social Responses to the Problem of Over-Sharing.Renée Nicole Souris - 2018 - In Ann Cudd & Mark Christopher Navin (eds.), Core Concepts and Contemporary Issues in Privacy. Springer. pp. 175-188.
    This paper examines whether American parents legally violate their children’s privacy rights when they share embarrassing images of their children on social media without their children’s consent. My inquiry is motivated by recent reports that French authorities have warned French parents that they could face fines and imprisonment for such conduct, if their children sue them once their children turn 18. Where French privacy law is grounded in respect for dignity, thereby explaining the French concerns for parental “over-sharing,” I show (...)
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  24. Do Parental Licensing Schemes Violate the Rights of Biological Parents?Christian Barry & R. J. Leland - 2017 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 94 (3):755-761.
  25. Love and Justice: A Paradox?Anca Gheaus - 2017 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 47 (6):739-759.
    Three claims about love and justice cannot be simultaneously true and therefore entail a paradox: (1) Love is a matter of justice. (2) There cannot be a duty to love. (3) All matters of justice are matters of duty. The first claim is more controversial. To defend it, I show why the extent to which we enjoy the good of love is relevant to distributive justice. To defend (2) I explain the empirical, conceptual and axiological arguments in its favour. Although (...)
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  26. Parental Genetic Shaping and Parental Environmental Shaping.Anca Gheaus - 2017 - Philosophical Quarterly 67 (267):20-31.
    Analytic philosophers tend to agree that intentional parental genetic shaping and intentional parental environmental shaping for the same feature are, normatively, on a par. I challenge this view by advancing a novel argument, grounded in the value of fair relationships between parents and children: Parental genetic shaping is morally objectionable because it unjustifiably exacerbates the asymmetry between parent and child with respect to the voluntariness of their entrance into the parent–child relationship. Parental genetic shaping is, for this reason, different from (...)
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  27. The Moral Foundations of Parenthood.Joseph Millum - 2017 - Oxford University Press.
    In this book, Joseph Millum explains how parental rights and responsibilities are acquired, what they consist in, and how parents should go about making decisions on behalf of their children. In doing so, he provides a set of frameworks to help solve pressing ethical dilemmas relating to parents and children.
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  28. Children’s Rights and Parents’ Rights.Robert Mullins - 2017 - Jurisprudence 8 (3):701-710.
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  29. Better Parenting Through Biomedical Modification: A Case for Pluralism, Deference, and Charity.David Wasserman - 2017 - Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 27 (2):217-247.
    The moral limits on how, and how much, parents may attempt to shape their children depend on what the moral project of parenthood is all about. A great deal has been written in the past forty years on the moral functions of parents and families and the acquisition and character of parental duties and rights. There has also been a great deal of philosophical writing on the use of technologies to create, select, and modify children, with such seminal works as (...)
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  30. Procreation, Parenthood, and Educational Rights: Ethical and Philosophical Issues.Jaime Ahlberg - 2016 - Routledge.
    _Procreation, Parenthood, and Educational Rights_ explores important issues at the nexus of two burgeoning areas within moral and social philosophy: procreative ethics and parental rights. Surprisingly, there has been comparatively little scholarly engagement across these subdisciplinary boundaries, despite the fact that parental rights are paradigmatically ascribed to individuals responsible for procreating particular children. This collection thus aims to bring expert practitioners from these literatures into fruitful and innovative dialogue around questions at the intersection of procreation and parenthood. Among these questions (...)
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  31. Kizel, A. (2016). “Pedagogy Out of Fear of Philosophy as a Way of Pathologizing Children”. Journal of Unschooling and Alternative Learning, Vol. 10, No. 20, Pp. 28 – 47.Kizel Arie - 2016 - Journal of Unschooling and Alternative Learning 10 (20):28 – 47.
    The article conceptualizes the term Pedagogy of Fear as the master narrative of educational systems around the world. Pedagogy of Fear stunts the active and vital educational growth of the young person, making him/her passive and dependent upon external disciplinary sources. It is motivated by fear that prevents young students—as well as teachers—from dealing with the great existential questions that relate to the essence of human beings. One of the techniques of the Pedagogy of Fear is the internalization of the (...)
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  32. Paradoxes of Liberalism and Parental Authority.Dennis Arjo - 2016 - Lexington Books.
    This book examines recent attempts by liberal theorists to defend parental authority and the paradoxes that it poses. Dennis Arjo explores various topics within the philosophy of parenting such as education, discipline, and the right of parents to teach their own religious beliefs to their children.
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  33. Children and Added Sugar: The Case for Restriction.Theodore Bach - 2016 - Journal of Applied Philosophy:105-120.
    It is increasingly clear that children's excessive consumption of products high in added sugar causes obesity and obesity-related health problems like type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and metabolic syndrome. Less clear is how best to address this problem through public health policy. In contrast to policies that might conflict with adult's right to self-determination — for example sugar taxes and soda bans — this article proposes that children's access to products high in added sugars should be restricted in the same (...)
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  34. The Right to Self‐Development: An Addition to the Child's Right to an Open Future.Jason Chen - 2016 - Journal of Social Philosophy 47 (4):439-456.
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  35. The Normative Importance of Pregnancy Challenges Surrogacy Contracts.Anca Gheaus - 2016 - Analize. Journal of Gender and Feminist Studies 6 (20):20-31.
    Birth mothers usually have a moral right to parent their newborns in virtue of a mutual attachment formed, during gestation, between the gestational mother and the fetus. The attachment is formed, in part, thanks to the burdens of pregnancy, and it serves the interest of the newborn; the gestational mother, too, has a powerful interest in the protection of this attachment. Given its justification, the right to parent one's gestated baby cannot be transferred at will to other people who would (...)
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  36. Parental Enhancement and Symmetry of Power in the Parent–Child Relationship.Anca Gheaus - 2016 - Journal of Medical Ethics 42 (6):70-89.
    Many instances of parental enhancement are objectionable on egalitarian grounds because they unnecessarily amplify one kind of asymmetry of power between parents and children. Because children have full moral status, we ought to seek egalitarian relationships with them. Such relationships are compatible with asymmetries of power only to the extent to which the asymmetry is necessary for (1) advancing the child's level of advantage up to what justice requires or (2) instilling in the child morally required features. This is a (...)
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  37. Parental Partiality and the Intergenerational Transmission of Advantage.Thomas Douglas - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (10):2735-2756.
    Parents typically favour their own children over others’. For example, most parents invest more time and money in their own children than in other children. This parental partiality is usually regarded as morally permissible, or even obligatory, but it can have undesirable distributive effects. For example, it may create unfair or otherwise undesirable advantages for the favoured child. A number of authors have found it necessary to justify parental partiality in the face of these distributive concerns, and they have typically (...)
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  38. Why the Family?Luara Ferracioli - 2015 - Law, Ethics and Philosophy 3:205-219.
    Among the most pressing philosophical questions occupying those interested in the ethics of the family is why should parents, as opposed to charity workers or state officials, raise children. In their recent Family Values, Brighouse and Swift have further articulated and strengthen their own justification of the parent-child relationship by appealing to its crucial role in enabling the child’s proper development and in allowing parents to play a valuable fiduciary role in the lives of children. In this paper, I argue (...)
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  39. Is There a Right to Parent?Anca Gheaus - 2015 - Law, Ethics and Philosophy.
    A short paper discussing the question of whether adults' interest in parenting can play a role in justifying the right to rear children.
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  40. Un comentario sobre la libertad. Presentación del libro de Iskra Pavez: La niña liberada. [REVIEW]José Andrés Murillo - 2015 - Hybris, Revista de Filosofí­A 6 (2):161-165.
  41. Dobrodziejstwo nowoczesnych technik wspomaganej medycznie prokreacji czy problem rodziny i dziecka? Uwagi na tle projektu ustawy o leczeniu niepłodności.Jadwiga Łuczak-Wawrzyniak & Joanna Agnieszka Haberko - 2015 - Diametros 44:20-44.
    The use of assisted reproductive technology is becoming more and more common nowadays and the procedures that a few years ago would be seen as experimental have now become basic benefits. The present text covers the issues of risks and conflicts faced by family members and related with the use of technology in the process of conceiving and giving birth to a child. The authors pay special attention to the possible use of foreign germ cells in the conception of a (...)
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  42. Parental Responsibility and Entitlement.Anna-Karin Andersson - 2014 - International Journal of Applied Philosophy 28 (1):49-69.
    This paper discusses parents’ rights and duties regarding their offspring from a certain classical liberal perspective. Approaching this issue from this perspective is particularly interesting for two reasons. First, classical liberalism’s alleged inability to explain the rights of very young human beings is a serious objection against such theories. Second, if we are able to show that a version of classical liberalism not only avoids this objection but actually implies very strong parental obligations to support offspring, the case for extensive (...)
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  43. On the Value of Intimacy in Procreation.Luara Ferracioli - 2014 - Journal of Value Inquiry 48 (3):349-369.
    What is wrong with anonymous surrogacy and gamete donation? Many feminists have argued that these practices are inherently exploitative or alienating. Yet, one can easily conceive of a world where donating a sperm or egg, and getting pregnant on behalf of someone else are considered highly valuable professional services, which are highly-paid and part of well regulated industries. In this ideal world, no one becomes a gamete donor or a surrogate out of economic necessity or desperation, but because there is (...)
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  44. The State’s Duty to Ensure Children Are Loved.Luara Ferracioli - 2014 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 8 (2):1-19.
    Do children have a right to be loved? An affirmative answer faces two immediate challenges: (i) a child's basic needs can be met without love, therefore a defence of such a right cannot appeal to the role of love in protecting children's most basic needs, and (ii) since love is non-voluntary, it seems that there cannot be a corresponding duty on the part of parents to love their child. In this essay, I defend an affirmative answer that overcomes both of (...)
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  45. The Status of Child Citizens.Timothy Fowler - 2014 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 13 (1):93-113.
    This paper considers the place of children within liberal-democratic society and its related political morality. The genesis of the paper is two considerations which are in tension with one another. First, that there must be some point at which children are divided from adults, with children denied the rights which go along with full membership of the liberal community. The justification for the difference in the statue between these two groups must be rooted in some notion of capacities, since these (...)
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  46. Person-Rearing Relationships as a Key to Higher Moral Status.Agnieszka Jaworska & Julie Tannenbaum - 2014 - Ethics 124 (2):242-271.
    Why does a baby who is otherwise cognitively similar to an animal such as a dog nevertheless have a higher moral status? We explain the difference in moral status as follows: the baby can, while a dog cannot, participate as a rearee in what we call “person-rearing relationships,” which can transform metaphysically and evaluatively the baby’s activities. The capacity to engage in these transformed activities has the same type of value as the very capacities (i.e., intellectual or emotional sophistication) that (...)
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  47. Utilitarianism, Welfare, Children.Anthony Skelton - 2014 - In Alexander Bagattini & Colin Macleod (eds.), The Nature of Children's Well-Being: Theory and Practice. Springer. pp. 85-103.
    Utilitarianism is the view according to which the only basic requirement of morality is to maximize net aggregate welfare. This position has implications for the ethics of creating and rearing children. Most discussions of these implications focus either on the ethics of procreation and in particular on how many and whom it is right to create, or on whether utilitarianism permits the kind of partiality that child rearing requires. Despite its importance to creating and raising children, there are, by contrast, (...)
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  48. Ignoring the Data and Endangering Children: Why the Mature Minor Standard for Medical Decision Making Must Be Abandoned.M. J. Cherry - 2013 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 38 (3):315-331.
    In Roper v. Simmons (2005) the United States Supreme Court announced a paradigm shift in jurisprudence. Drawing specifically on mounting scientific evidence that adolescents are qualitatively different from adults in their decision-making capacities, the Supreme Court recognized that adolescents are not adults in all but age. The Court concluded that the overwhelming weight of the psychological and neurophysiological data regarding brain maturation supports the conclusion that adolescents are qualitatively different types of agents than adult persons. The Supreme Court further solidified (...)
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  49. The Right to Know the Identities of Genetic Parents.Madeline Kilty - 2013 - Australian Journal of Adoption 7 (2).
    While in this paper I focus on adoptees, my argument is applicable to donor-conceived children and children of misattributed paternity. I address some of the noted risks of closed adopted and the benefits of open adoption, which is more in keeping with Article 7 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), which provides all children with a right to know about their genetic parents and which the Australian government ratified in 1980.
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  50. Children’s Rights in a Changing Climate: A Perspective From the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.S. Sanz-Caballero - 2013 - Ethics in Science and Environmental Politics 13 (1):1-14.