Couverture souple
169 pages
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  • This text is a timely and much needed examination of the nature of the ethical and legal issues generated by the dramatic improvement of neonatal intensive care. Which newborns that are preterm, very low birth weight or very malformed are so imperilled that medical treatment should not be provided? Thierry Hurlimann advocates that an appropriate attempt to answer this question can only be achieved by first considering the concepts of legal and moral "personhood". Such concepts challenge and confront the foundations of traditional thought and human perception.


    In Imperilled Newborns: A Duty To Treat?, T. Hurlimann examines the ethical and legal theories that help inform a broad understanding of "personhood" within a complex matrix of societal, political, legal and ethical considerations. It is this background that impacts so greatly on the legal and moral status of imperilled neonates. In so doing, he draws upon numerous judicial and legislative examples notably from Canada, Quebec, the United States, and the United Kingdom. T. Hurlimann demonstrates how technological progress, political pressures and changing societal values have unsettled previous legal notions, such as "live birth" and "viability". Ultimately, T. Hurlimann demonstrates that the controversial concept of "moral personhood" will likely impact on a legal analysis of what constitutes the "best interests" of imperilled newborns in medical treatment. Such an impact is itself fraught with controversy.


    This text is a call to full awareness of the driving ethical and legal issues behind medical treatment provided to imperilled newborns. It is a valuable source of information to jurists, judges, ethics consultants, clinicians and any person seeking to understand the specific controversies surrounding neonatal intensive care. It is a must-read to comprehend the challenges we face in a postmodern matrix of technological progress, ethical conundrums and good old fashioned humanity.




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