Vic Larcher and Franco Carnevale

in Oxford Textbook of Palliative Care for Children

Second edition

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780199595105
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199665020 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Textbooks In Palliative Medicine


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  • Paediatrics
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  • Medical Ethics


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This chapter is concerned with the ethical considerations that pertain to how our society responds to children whose lives are limited. Not all societies will respond, or have responded, in the same way. Both Spartans and Romans practised infanticide for reasons that we would now regard as morally reprehensible. However, although most societies place great emphasis on the principle of respect for human life, it is not clear whether all societies do believe that all life demands equal respect and carries equal value. This is especially relevant in the context of life-limiting illnesses (LLIs). This account is primarily grounded in the Anglo-Saxon ethical and legal tradition, but we hope that it will be accessible to readers from other disciplines.

Chapter.  12304 words. 

Subjects: Paediatrics ; Palliative Medicine ; Medical Ethics

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