Substantive Criteria and Procedures in Withholding Care from Defective Newborns

  • John A. Robertson
Part of the Philosophy and Medicine book series (PHME, volume 9)


Passive euthanasia of defective newborns through selective non-treatment is now widely practiced in England and the United States. Many persons defend the practice as a morally and socially justified way to prevent suffering. However, a practice of withholding necessary medical care from defective infants to cause their death does not square easily with basic norms of liberal democratic society that accord equal respect to the life of all persons whatever their physical, mental or social characteristics.


Societal Norm Duodenal Atresia Substantive Criterion Equal Respect Passive Euthanasia 
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Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • John A. Robertson
    • 1
  1. 1.University of WisconsinMadisonUSA

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