• Matjaž Zwitter


The chapter starts with the ethical issues related to a severely handicapped newborn, a condition that often requires a series of medical and surgical interventions. When chances for long-term survival and life without continuous significant medical support are slim or non-existent, the attitude of the parents towards intensive medicine or palliative care should be considered. In most other situations in pediatrics, however, the ethical validity of decisions made by parents or caregivers is not a question of autonomy of surrogate decision-makers but should be based on the principle of beneficence towards the child. Even if the autonomy of a child is limited, it should be respected to the highest reasonable level, and any medical intervention should be accompanied with an appropriate explanation. The chapter includes discussion of some topics specific to the young: mandatory vaccination, suspected child abuse, genetic testing in childhood, reactions to the death of a child, and clinical research in a pediatric population.


Severely handicapped newborn Newborn screening programs Vaccination Child neglect Death of a child Children in clinical research 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Matjaž Zwitter
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Faculty of MedicineUniversity of MariborMariborSlovenia
  2. 2.Institute of OncologyLjubljanaSlovenia

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