About one baby out of every 600 born in the U.S. has Down’s syndrome. Many of th

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About one baby out of every 600 born in the U.S. has Down’s syndrome. Many of these children are born with fatal physical conditions that can cause quite a bit of pain and suffering. For instance, a baby with Down’s syndrome could be born with part of their vital organs missing, intestines might be blocked, and their heart might not pump properly. Surgery is often required for these infants to survive beyond the first few days of life. Parents must decide whether to allow surgery to save the child, who may end up requiring costly long-term care and services for life or withholding permission thus causing the child to die. 1. Is it immoral for the parents to withhold surgery? Likewise, is it immoral for the parents to allow the surgery? 2. Is the assumption that parents will act in the best interest of their child justified? 3. Morally speaking, would the physician deciding not to operate be tantamount to murder? 4. Ethicist James Rachels (1975) uses the Baby Does case to illustrate how passive euthanasia can sometimes cause more suffering than active euthanasia. If it is morally permissible for parents to allow their infants to die, should active euthanasia be used instead? 5. Considering the moral issues related to quality and sanctity of life, the principle of do no harm, and palliative care, are there ever any cases when euthanasia of an infant is morally justified?

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