Advertisement

Justice and the Defective Newborn

  • Albert R. Jonsen
Part of the Philosophy and Medicine book series (PHME, volume 8)

Abstract

Neonatology, the care of the critically ill newborn, is a new subspecialty of pediatrics. The first examination to certify specialists in neonatology was held in 1975. Even before this formal recognition of the specialty, ominous ethical clouds were gathering around it. Two years before, pediatricians Raymond Duff and A. G. M. Campbell reported that, in their newborn intensive care nursery, treatment was deliberately discontinued for some infants “with the knowledge that earlier death and relief from suffering would occur” ([3], p. 891). In the same year, a film, produced by the Kennedy Foundation, dramatized a case which had taken place ten years earlier: a newborn infant, suffering from Down’s Syndrome, was allowed to die after its parents refused permission for life-saving surgery [8]. A quiet debate over the treatment of infants born with spina bifida had been going on during the previous decade and then broke into public view [6]. All this caught the attention of philosophers and theologians interested in the ethics of medicine, who then poured out a flood of literature on ethical issues in care of the defective newborn.

Keywords

Typical Case Spina Bifida Paradigmatic Case Ethical Discussion Duodenal Atresia 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Bibliography

  1. 1.
    Antenatal Diagnosis: 1979, Public Health Service, Washington, D. C.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Budetti, P.: 1979, Personal Communication.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Duff, R. S. and Campbell, A. G. M.: 1973, ‘Moral and Ethical Dilemmas in Special Care Nursery’, New England Journal of Medicine 292, 75–78.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Fletcher, J.: 1972, ‘Indicators of Humanhood’, Hastings Center Report 2 (November), 1–3.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Frankena, W. K.: 1962, ‘The Concept of Social Justice’, in R. B. Brandt (ed.), Social Justice, Prentice Hall, Inc., Englewood Cliffs.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Freeman, J. M.: 1973, ‘To Treat or Not to Treat: Ethical Dilemmas of Treating the Infant with a Myelomeningocele’, Clinical Neurosurgery 20, 134–146.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Grisez, G. and Boyle, J. M.: 1979, Life and Death with Liberty and Justice, University of Notre Dame Press, Notre Dame and London.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Gustafson, J. M.: 1973, ‘Mongolism, Parental Desires, and the Right to Life’, Perspectives in Biology and Medicine 16, 529–557.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Jonsen, A. R. and Garland, M. J. (ed.): 1976, Ethics of Newborn Intensive Care, University of California, Berkeley.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Lachs, J.: 1976, ‘Humane Treatment and the Treatment of Humans’, New England Journal of Medicine 294, 838–840.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    McCormick, R. A.: 1974, ‘To Save or Let Die’, Journal of the American Medical Association 229, 172–176.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    McCormick, R. A.: 1978, ‘The Quality of Life, the Sanctity of Life’, The Hastings Center Report 8, 30–37.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Miller, D.: 1976, Social Justice, Clarendon Press, Oxford.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Oh, W. and Stern, L.: 1977, ‘Diseases of the Respiratory System’, in R. E. Behrman (ed.), Neonatal and Perinatal Medicine, C. V. Mosby, St, Louis.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Outka, G.: 1974, ‘Social Justice and Equal Access to Health Care’, Journal of Religious Ethics 2, 11–32.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Ramsey, P.: 1978, Ethics at the Edges of Life, Yale University Press, New Haven and London.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Raphael, D. D.: 1946, ‘Equality and Equity’, Philosophy 21, 118–132.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Reich, W.: 1978, ‘Quality of Life and Defective Newborn Children: an Ethical Analysis’, in C. A. Swinyard (ed.), Decision Making and the Defective Newborn, Charles C. Thomas, Springfield.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Tooley, M.: 1972, ‘Abortion and Infanticide’, Philosophy and Public Affairs 2, 37–65.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Volpe, J.: 1977, ‘Neonatal Intracranial Hemorrhage’, in J. Volpe (ed.), Symposium on Neonatal Neurology, Clinics in Perinatology 4, 77–102.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • Albert R. Jonsen
    • 1
  1. 1.School of MedicineUniversity of CaliforniaSan FranciscoUSA

Personalised recommendations