End of Life Decisions and the Severely Handicapped Neonate

Kamimura, Sakura (1997) End of Life Decisions and the Severely Handicapped Neonate. MPhil(R) thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Abstract

This dissertation outlines several important issues concerning end of life decisions and the severely handicapped neonates. The value of life, decision making and euthanasia are analysed in order to arrive at a best possible scenario for severely handicapped neonates in the future. The first task has been to analyse the problems faced by severely handicapped neonates and non-autonomous persons. The question of non-autonomous human beings' value of life and whether they can be considered persons has been discussed. It is undoubtedly difficult to assess the quality of life for non-autonomous persons however; by using philosophical analysis, it has been shown that they do have a value of life and that they are indeed persons. The second question that has been raised is decision making. This issue is complex because decisions lie with surrogate decision makers. In order to arrive at the best possible solution for the neonates, the views of the parents, courts, and medical staff need to be examined. The third question is euthanasia. Although euthanasia is not recommended for severely handicapped neonates, it can be argued through ethical considerations that it may be morally permissible. Finally, by analysing the problems raised at each stage, the possible trend for severely handicapped neonates is discussed. The thesis concludes with the thought that genetic screening and gene therapy may be the solution in the near future.

Item Type: Thesis (MPhil(R))
Qualification Level: Masters
Additional Information: Adviser: R S Downie
Keywords: Medical ethics
Date of Award: 1997
Depositing User: Enlighten Team
Unique ID: glathesis:1997-74594
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 27 Sep 2019 17:37
Last Modified: 27 Sep 2019 17:37
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/74594

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