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The Ethics of Pediatric Research$
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David Wendler

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199730087

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199730087.001.0001

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Proposed Justifications

Proposed Justifications

(p.77) Four Proposed Justifications
The Ethics of Pediatric Research

David S. Wendler

Oxford University Press

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

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