Commenced in January 2007
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Edition: International
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Euthanasia with Reference to Defective Newborns: An Analysis

Authors: Nibedita Priyadarsini

Abstract:

It is said that Ethics has a wide range of application which mainly deals with human life and human behavior. All ethical decisions are ultimately concerned with life and death. Both life and death must be considered dignified. Medical ethics with its different topics mostly deals with life and death concepts among which euthanasia is one. Various types of debates continue over Euthanasia long since. The question of putting an end to someone’s life has aroused controversial in legal sphere as well as in moral sphere. To permit or not to permit has remained an enigma the world over. Modern medicine is in the stage of transcending limits that cannot be set aside. The morality of allowing people to die without treatment has become more important as methods of treatment have become more sophisticated. Allowing someone to die states an essential recognition that there is some point in any terminal illness when further curative treatment has no purpose and the patient in such situation should allow dying a natural death in comfort, peace, and dignity, without any interference from medical science and technology. But taking a human life is in general sense is illogical in itself. It can be said that when we kill someone, we cause the death; whereas if we merely let someone die, then we will not be responsible for anyone’s death. This point is often made in connection with the euthanasia cases and which is often debatable. Euthanasia in the pediatric age group involves some important issues that are different from those of adult issues. The main distinction that occurs is that the infants and newborns and young children are not able to decide about their future as the adult does. In certain cases, where the child born with some serious deformities with no hope of recovery, in that cases doctor decide not to perform surgery in order to remove the blockage, and let the baby die. Our aim in this paper is to examine, whether it is ethically justified to withhold or to apply euthanasia on the part of the defective infant. What to do with severely defective infants from earliest time if got to know that they are not going to survive at all? Here, it will deal mostly with the ethics in deciding the relevant ethical concerns in the practice of euthanasia with the defective newborns issues. Some cases in relation to disabled infants and newborn baby will be taken in order to show what to do in a critical condition, that the patient and family members undergoes and under which condition those could be eradicated, if not all but some. The final choice must be with the benefit of the patient.

Keywords: Ethics, Medical Ethics, Euthanasia, defective newborns

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