Children and Health Care Decisionmaking: A Reply to Angela Holder
The question of whether children should be given a role in decision-making concerning their own medical care is part of a broader question of how children should be treated in general. And for answering that we lack a clear and coherent framework. Falling as they do somewhere between adult humans and animals in terms of their capacities, but normally having from the moment of conception the potential to become adults, children constitute a category of living things unlike any other from the standpoint of the moral and conceptual problems their treatment raises. Improperly cared for, they tend to grow up incapable of relating normally and happily to other adults; overly cared for and kept dependent, they tend to grow up incapable of relating normally and happily to other adults. Few can agree what constitutes just the right kind and quality of care.
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