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Title: Scanlon's contractualism and the ethics of neonatal research
Author: Manning, Donal.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3618 2350
Awarding Body: Keele University
Current Institution: Keele University
Date of Award: 2007
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The aimso f this thesisa ret o outlinet he ethicalc hallengesp osedb y neonatarl esearch, to propose solutions to these challenges and to consider whether Scanlon's contractualism can accommodate these solutions. The thesis does not offer a comprehensive appraisal of contractualism, but applies important contractualist ideas, particularlyr easonablere jectabilitya ndj ustifiability to others,t o neonatarl esearch. The circumstances in which neonatal research is conducted pose constraints on equipoise and parental consent, particularly when promising experimental treatment is accessible only through trial participation. While randomised trials generally produce more rigorous evidence than uncontrolled studies, they raise concerns about the use of sick infants to glean this evidence. Participation in relevant research cannot be guaranteed to serve the best interests of sick infants. Whether conducting neonatal researchis imperativeo r optionald ependso n the moral statusa ccordedto futurehumans. Compromisesa ren eededto reconcilet he conflicting ethicali mperatives.T hese include developing alternative forms of parental authorisation, providing access to promising new treatment before there is definitive evidence supporting its safety and efficacy, and using observational studies when randomised trials are impractical or unethical. Pro-triallist approaches, emphasising the benefits of research and sceptical approaches, emphasising individual rights and interests, offer inadequate moral justification for these compromises.The pluralism and mutual consideration espoused by contractualism render it a more promising theory of the ethics of neonatal research than pro-triallist and sceptical accounts.T he priority accordedb y contractualismto justifiability andr easonable acceptability to others could allow the theory to justify the compromises needed to reconcile these conflicting standpoints. To meet this challenge, however, contractualism must provide more specific guidance to determine whether or not moral disagreement is reasonable, and it must offer a more defensible account of the moral status of future humans.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available