I will argue that there are difficulties with the application of the four principles approach to incompetent children. The most important principle – respect for autonomy – is not directly applicable to incompetent children and the most appropriate modification of the principle for them is not clear. The principle of beneficence – that one should act in the child’s interests – is complicated by difficulties in assessing what a child’s interests are and to which standard of interests those choosing for children should be held. A further problem with the four principles approach is that parental authority does not follow clearly from the four principles.
- ethical theory
Statistics from Altmetric.com
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.
Competing interests: None.
Read the full text or download the PDF:
Other content recommended for you
- Ethics needs principles—four can encompass the rest—and respect for autonomy should be “first among equals”
- In defence of moral imperialism: four equal and universal prima facie principles
- The bioethical principles and Confucius’ moral philosophy
- Defending the four principles approach as a good basis for good medical practice and therefore for good medical ethics
- The child's right to an open future: is the principle applicable to non-therapeutic circumcision?
- Infant male circumcision and the autonomy of the child: two ethical questions
- Methods and principles in biomedical ethics
- Juggling law, ethics, and intuition: practical answers to awkward questions
- First among equals? Adaptive preferences and the limits of autonomy in medical ethics
- Can one do good medical ethics without principles?