Michal Pruski
Manchester Metropolitan University
Informed consent, when given by proxy, has limitations: chiefly, it must be made in the interest of the patient. Here we critique the standard approach to parental consent, as present in Canada and the UK. Parents are often asked for consent, but are not given the authority to refuse medically beneficial treatment in many situations. This prompts the question of whether it is possible for someone to consent if they cannot refuse. We present two alternative and philosophically more consistent frameworks for paediatric proxy consent. The first allows meaningful consent (parents may say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to treatment), provided that parents are medically informed/competent and intend the health and well-being of their child. In the second solution, medical practitioners or the state consent for treatment, with parents only being consulted to help give insight to the child’s circumstances. While we contend that either of these two options is superior to the insincerity of the present paradigm, we suggest that the first solution is preferable.
Keywords Proxy consent  paediatric consent  blood transfusion  Jehovah's Witness  vaccination
Categories (categorize this paper)
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 60,842
External links

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.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Clinicians' Knowledge of Informed Consent.L. Fisher-Jeffes, C. Barton & F. Finlay - 2007 - Journal of Medical Ethics 33 (3):181-184.
On Children and Proxy Consent.J. Blustein - 1978 - Journal of Medical Ethics 4 (3):138-140.
Improved Procedures May Improve Informed Consent for Neonatal Research.[author unknown] - 2004 - Journal of Medical Ethics 30 (1):7-7.


Added to PP index

Total views
9 ( #909,222 of 2,438,879 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
4 ( #167,421 of 2,438,879 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes