Medical law review 2011 Winter; 19(1): 55-85
Children may sometimes undergo healthcare procedures that are not intended to improve their health status. Such interventions might include the use of young children as bone marrow donors or their enrolment in non-therapeutic research. One of the justifications used to legitimise these interventions is the premise that children have obligations to others; to their family in the case of related bone marrow transplantation, and to wider society in the case of non-therapeutic research. However, this 'obligation model' (the notion that children possess positive obligations to advance the health status of others) fails as a justificatory paradigm because it is based upon a confusion, identified by Hart, between two notions; that of 'being under an obligation to do something' and that of 'being obliged to do something'. Instead the 'obligation model' is a device employed to put a justificatory gloss upon a consequentialist decision-making process; removing the legitimising gloss allows for a more transparent look at the conflict between parental rights and an individual child's right to bodily integrity.
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Lyons, Barry (2011-06)Bone marrow donation between siblings is a common medical procedure. In some instances, the donor will be a young child incapable of providing either consent or assent, and the intervention is made lawful through the consent ...