Scholarly Articles and Other Contributions
 

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1985

Abstract

Whenever a genetically defective infant is born, a triptych of interests is challenged directly. For such a case not only tests the extent of the natural rights of the parents in making decisions regarding the infant's capacity for qualitative life, but the personal needs or the welfare of the child itself and the nature of the responsibilities of the State in ensuring the welfare of its citizens regardless of age or infirmity. Aggressive posturing by the United States government, through a complex regulatory scheme designed to assure protection of handicapped newborns, has in fact wreaked havoc on the whole decision-making process and assaulted the integrity and privacy of the family decisional unit. While lacking a similar governmental regulatory process of protection in England, the judiciary, nevertheless, has given a strong indication that circumstances may merit respect of parental decisions which preclude aggressive efforts being undertaken to maintain life for such infants. What would be helpful to parents, doctors and judges alike in deciding the gravity of birth impairment and ultimately whether to maintain life or allow it to abate with dignity and mercy would be criteria which would attempt to structure pragmatic medical standards for decision-making.

Share

COinS
 
 

To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.