This paper examines some of the arguments advanced and acted upon by doctors concerned in decisions about whether severely handicapped patients should live or die. It criticises the view that 'selective treatment' is morally preferable to infanticide and shows how the standard arguments advanced for this preference fail to sustain it. It argues that the self-deception, which is sometimes cited as a sign of humanity in these cases, and which is implicit in the term 'selective treatment' is more dangerous than is the remote chance of brutalisation which is often cited as the danger of active euthanasia.
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