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Medical ethics and a parent’s right to choose care

May 26, 2011

IN THE NEWS: An ABC News report about state laws that exempt parents from seeking medical aid for children on religious grounds cited Dr. Ray Koons, a member of UC Irvine’s medical ethics committee.

Koons and other medical ethicists see problems with eliminating all religious exemptions. “No one wants to lose a child,” he says. “The question is, what rights do we have and what rights do they have?”

“We are outsiders,” says Koons. “But the parent who speaks for the child may say, ‘If God wants my child to die and my child will be blind, this is God’s will. Our moral conflict is how can we make someone understand our point of view? But to get someone to change their mind, you have to listen to the other side.”  

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