Disability, discrimination and death: is it justified to ration life saving treatment for disabled newborn infants?
Wilkinson D., Savulescu J.
Disability might be relevant to decisions about life support in intensive care in several ways. It might affect the chance of treatment being successful, or a patient's life expectancy with treatment. It may affect whether treatment is in a patient's best interests. However, even if treatment would be of overall benefit it may be unaffordable and consequently unable to be provided. In this paper we will draw on the example of neonatal intensive care, and ask whether or when it is justified to ration life-saving treatment on the basis of disability. We argue that predicted disability is relevant both indirectly and directly to rationing decisions.