Abstract and Keywords
Infants lack capacity, so the state assigns parents the authority to grant permission on behalf of their child for interventions that are routine, non-emergent interventions, or emergent/life-preserving. For the infant who is severely compromised medically and for whom any intervention would be considered futile, a dialectic between preserving “life at all costs” and the infant’s interest in avoiding unnecessary suffering emerges, prompting potential schisms between parents, physicians, the medical facility, and the state—each of which brings its own biases. Physicians are charged with compassionately providing accurate disclosure that is free of bias and refraining from exerting coercive influence. Parents need to be allowed the space and support to thoughtfully deliberate. Medical facilities, through ethics committees, can provide a path to resolving conflicts without resorting to adjudication in courts. Deliberation should focus on the principles of the infant’s best interests and substitute judgment.
Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.
If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.