Resisting the Siren Call of Individualism in Pediatric Decision-Making and the Role of Relational Interests

Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 39 (1):26-40 (2014)
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The siren call of individualism is compelling. And although we have recognized its dangerous allure in the realm of adult decision-making, it has had profound and yet unnoticed dangerous effects in pediatric decision-making as well. Liberal individualism as instantiated in the best interest standard conceptualizes the child as independent and unencumbered and the goal of child rearing as rational autonomous adulthood, a characterization that is both ontologically false and normatively dangerous. Although a notion of the individuated child might have a place in establishing a threshold of care obligated and enforced by the state, beyond this context we should turn our attention more explicitly to the relational interests of children



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Autonomy in medical ethics after O'Neill.G. M. Stirrat - 2005 - Journal of Medical Ethics 31 (3):127-130.
The Wrong of Rights: The Moral Authority of the Family.S. A. Erickson - 2010 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 35 (5):600-616.
The Moral Status of Intellectually Disabled Individuals.S. D. Edwards - 1997 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 22 (1):29-42.

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