Article Text

PDF
Commentary
When they believe in miracles
  1. Steve Clarke
  1. Correspondence to Dr Steve Clarke, Institute for Science and Ethics, Oxford Martin School and Faculty of Philosophy, University of Oxford, Suite 8, Littlegate House, 16-17 St Ebbes Street, Oxford OX1 1PT, UK; stephen.clarke{at}philosophy.ox.ac.uk

Abstract

Brierley et al argue that in cases where it is medically futile to continue providing life-sustaining therapies to children in intensive care, medical professionals should be allowed to withdraw such therapies, even when the parents of these children believe that there is a chance of a miracle cure taking place. In reasoning this way, Brierley et al appear to implicitly assume that miracle cures will never take place, but they do not justify this assumption and it would be very difficult for them to do so. Instead of seeking to override the wishes of parents, who are waiting for a miracle, it is suggested that a better response may be to seek to engage devout parents on their own terms, and encourage them to think about whether or not continuing life-sustaining therapies will make it more likely that a miracle cure will occur.

Statistics from Altmetric.com

Footnotes

  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

Request permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.

Linked Articles