Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Selective Nontreatment of Infants with Disabilities

Now on SSRN: Janet Read & Luke Clements, Demonstrably Awful: The Right to Life and the Selective Non-Treatment of Disabled Babies and Young Children, 31 J.L. & Soc. 482 (2004). Here's the abstract of the article, by two British scholars:

Twenty-five years ago it was common practice to bring about the deaths of some children with learning disabilities or physical impairments. This paper considers a small number of landmark cases in the early 1980s that confronted this practice. These cases illustrate a process by which external forces (social, philosophical, political, and professional) moved through the legal system to effect a profound change outside that system - primarily in the (then) largely closed domain of medical conduct/practice. These cases are considered from a socio-legal perspective. In particular, the paper analyses the reasons why they surfaced at that time, the social and political contexts that shaped the judgments, and their legacy.


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