Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy

, Volume 5, Issue 3, pp 297–300

(Mis)Understanding Singer: Replaceability of children or intellectual endeavour?

  • E.L.M. Maeckelberghe

DOI: 10.1023/A:1021120018259

Cite this article as:
Maeckelberghe, E. Med Health Care Philos (2002) 5: 297. doi:10.1023/A:1021120018259


Should doctors have the possibility to save children from incurable suffering and end their lives?. At first glance, the standpoints in the debate around this question seem translucent and well known and the debate intelligible. I contend that this is not the case and I will illustrate this in analysing the debate between Peter Singer and Ulrich Bleidick. Whomever wants to answer the question whether it is acceptable to end the lives of suffering small children will have to do some careful reading and thinking about the different and differing moral arguments in the debate. This demands emotional restraint and intellectual honesty. Trying to understand Singer and his opponents is a challenging way of charting what exactly is at stake in this debate.

childrendisabilityend of lifemental impairmentreplaceability of children

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • E.L.M. Maeckelberghe
    • 1
  1. 1.Health Sciences/Medical EthicsUniversity of GroningenGroningenThe Netherlands