Informed dissent: the views of some mothers of severely mentally handicapped young adults

Title

Informed dissent: the views of some mothers of severely mentally handicapped young adults

Creator

Simms M

Identifier

Publisher

Journal Of Medical Ethics

Date

1986

Subject

Female; Humans; infant; Adult; Middle Aged; Euthanasia; Disabled Persons; Informed Consent; Patient Compliance; Empirical Approach; Mental Health Therapies; Death and Euthanasia; Mothers/psychology; Newborn; Genetics and Reproduction; Passive; Value of Life; Abortion; Congenital Abnormalities/therapy; Induced

Description

Much of the discussion since the Arthur case has centred round the rights of handicapped infants to medical treatment. Little has centred round the question of how far one person can rightly be required to sacrifice her life for another, when she has not been consulted beforehand. This may be due to the fact that most of the discussants are men, while nearly all the carers are women. This small study attempts to redress this balance by asking mothers who have cared for 20 years, whether they felt it was worthwhile.; KIE: As part of a larger study by a British regional health authority, 15 mothers of severely mentally handicapped young adults from varying socioeconomic areas were asked for their views on selective abortion and treatment of severely handicapped newborns. Ten of the 15 women wished with hindsight that they could have had an abortion, and 12 thought such infants should be allowed to die. Simms concludes that the views of those who have cared devotedly for their severely mentally handicapped children deserve more consideration. Davis, herself disabled and an activist for the handicapped, asserts that human rights devolve to every individual at fertilization and cannot be apportioned according to perceived "worth." She suggests that parents who are unable to cope with a handicapped child should consider offering the baby for adoption as an alternative to "killing" the child.
1986

Rights

Article information provided for research and reference use only. PedPalASCNET does not hold any rights over the resource listed here. All rights are retained by the journal listed under publisher and/or the creator(s).

Type

Journal Article

Citation List Month

Backlog

Pages

72-76

Issue

2

Volume

12

Citation

Simms M, “Informed dissent: the views of some mothers of severely mentally handicapped young adults,” Pediatric Palliative Care Library, accessed July 25, 2021, https://pedpalascnetlibrary.omeka.net/items/show/12446.

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