Proposed Justifications

David S. Wendler

in The Ethics of Pediatric Research

Published in print January 2010 | ISBN: 9780199730087
Published online May 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780199776689 | DOI:
Proposed Justifications

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Chapter 4 focuses on evaluating arguments which grant the concerns raised by nonbeneficial pediatric research, and then try to meet Ramsey's challenge. The chapter first considers Utilitarian justifications and why they are rightly rejected. It then considers the argument that nonbeneficial pediatric research can be justified when it is consistent with the parents’ rights to make decisions for their children. Next is the argument that participation in nonbeneficial research can be in children's interests by teaching them to be moral. While this argument does not provide a general justification it does reveal that a response to Ramsey's challenge need not be based on the potential for participating children to realize clinical benefits in particular. This suggestion will be pursued in subsequent chapters. Chapter 4 ends by considering whether it is possible to meet Ramsey's challenge by appeal to a variation on the Rawlsian approach of evaluating what policies are appropriate based on which policies a reasonable person would endorse from behind a veil of ignorance.

Keywords: utilitarianism; parental authority; altruism; rawls; veil of ignorance; obligations; contract theory

Chapter.  13834 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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