Anencephalic Infants and Special Relationships
Jecker, Nancy S.
Theoretical Medicine. 1990 Dec; 11(4): 333-342.
This paper investigates the scope and limits of parents' and physicians' obligations to anencephalic newborns. Special attention is paid to the permissibility of harvesting anencephalic organs for transplant. My starting point is to identify the general justification for treating patients in order to benefit third parties. This analysis reveals that the presence of a close relationship between patients and beneficiaries is often crucial to justifying treating in these cases. In particular, the proper interpretation of the Kantian injunction against treating persons as means only takes on a different light in the context of special relationships. The implications of this analysis for our responsibilities to anencephalic infants is clarified.
Altruism; Anencephaly; Beneficence; Consent; Decision Making; Ethical Analysis; Futility; Infants; Life; Moral Obligations; Moral Policy; Motivation; Newborns; Obligations to Society; Organ Donation; Parental Consent; Parents; Patients; Personhood; Physicians; Prolongation of Life; Risks and Benefits; Responsibilities; Siblings; Social Interaction; Suffering; Tissue Donation;
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Critical Issues Debates: Intervention for Infants With Fatal Heart Disease, Xenografting, and Brain Death Criteria for Anencephalic Infants. Debate III: Resolved: Brain Death Criteria Must Be Revised So That Society Can Readily Benefit From Families Who Offer Their Anencephalic Infants as Organ Donors (Debate 3 of 3) Girvin, John; Capron, Alexander Morgan; Press, Bill (1993-11)