Should the baby live?: the problem of handicapped infants

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Oxford University Press, 1985 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 228 pages
Few subjects have generated so many newspaper headlines and such heated controversy in recent years as the treatment or non-treatment, of handicapped newborns. This book, by two authorities on medical ethics,is a philosophical analysis of the subject, but accessibly written and rooted in practicalities and case studies throughout. The authors examine the doctrine of the absolute sanctity of human life; look at some actual examples where decisions have been made one way or the other; consider criteria for deciding when life is worthwhile; investigate the differences between killing and letting die; compare Western attitudes and practices with those of other cultures; and make proposals for a decision-making framework. Reviewing Peter Singer's book on ethics and sociology, The New Republic wrote: "Singer takes the reader through important and difficult questions with a lucidity which must be the envy of any writer on ethics." Reviewing his Practical Ethics, The New York Review of Books commented: "The utility of this utilitarian's book to students of the subject can hardly be exaggerated." These statements are equally true of Should the Baby Live? Among the questions discussed are: --Is it right to do less to prolong the life of a handicapped infant than one would do for a normal baby? If so, how severe must the handicap be? --Who should make the decision? The parents? The doctors? The courts? --Whose interest should be considered? Only the baby's? Or also those of the parents and other children they might have? --Should weight be given to the cost to society of extensive medical treatment and institutional care? About the Author: Peter Singer is Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Centre of Human Bioethics at Monash University in Australia. In addition to his many books on ethics, he has written on the subject for such publications as The New York Times and The New York Review of Books. Helga Kuhse is Deputy Director of Centre.

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Two babies
Is all human life of equal worth?
the treatment of spina bifida

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