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Paternalism versus autonomy: medical opinion and ethical questions in the treatment of defective neonates
  1. Peter Ferguson
  1. Law Student, University of Edinburgh


    The author considers the notion that the doctor is the sole arbiter of what happens to a defective neonate; how this is a logical confusion of scientific assessment with value judgment. The utilitarian concept found in a democracy is taken to be the superior source of ethics which ought to guide doctors. Finally, the logical conclusion is claimed to be that legislation alone will effectively enunciate society's standards.

    • Law and medical ethices
    • serverely handicapped infants
    • legislated morality
    • paternalism
    • autonomy

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