Journal of Practical Ethics | VOL. 9
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Prioritizing Parents

Publication Date Dec 14, 2021

Abstract

Should parents or other primary caregivers of dependent children receive some priority when health care resources are scarce? This paper argues they should. The COVID-19 pandemic has given new urgency to discussions about resource allocation and yet there has been little to no discussion of the important role parents play in protecting and promoting the health of their dependent children. Historically, priority for parents was justified on questionable grounds of social value and this may have led bioethicists and policy makers to overlook more plausible justifications for prioritizing parents. After discussing and criticizing several such justifications for their violation of principles of pluralism and neutrality, a new justification is offered and defended from objections. The reason we should grant some priority to primary caregivers of dependent children is that research shows that doing so would protect and promote the health and lives of children.

Concepts

Priority For Parents Caregivers Of Children Health Care Resources Dependent Children Lives Of Children Principles Of Neutrality COVID-19 Pandemic Resource Allocation Health Of Children Principles Of Pluralism

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