ERIC Number: ED233534
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Nov
Euthanasia of Severely Handicapped Infants: Ethical Issues.
Ethical decisions are involved in life and death decisions for severely handicapped infants. Although it has become common practice for physicians not to treat severely handicapped infants, the ethical considerations involved in euthanasia are complex. A review of the literature reveals that concerns center around the quality of life of the defective infant and of the family, the sanctity of life, and protection of fundamental rights for the parents and child. It appears that many individuals who have a physical anomaly, such as a heart defect, are assisted in dying because they are mentally retarded. Because of these trends, members of professional organizations should be available to counsel and support families when a severely handicapped infant is born. In addition, financial assistance should be made available to parents to help allay the costs associated with prolonged medical care of a severely handicapped infant, and major organizations that advocate on behalf of the severely disabled should take decisive steps to ensure that the rights of severely handicapped infants are protected when life and death decisions are made. (SW)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the Association for the Severely Handicapped (9th, Denver, C0, November 4-6, 1982).