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Acknowledged Dependence and the Virtues of Perinatal Hospice

Journal title
The Journal of medicine and philosophy
Publication year
2016
Author(s)
Cobb, A. D.
Pages
25-40
Volume
41
Number
1

Prenatal screening can lead to the detection and diagnosis of significantly life-limiting conditions affecting the unborn child. Recognizing the difficulties facing parents who decide to continue the pregnancy, some have proposed perinatal hospice as a new modality of care. Although the medical literature has begun to devote significant attention to these practices, systematic philosophical reflection on perinatal hospice has been relatively limited. Drawing on Alasdair MacIntyre’s account of the virtues of acknowledged dependence, I contend that perinatal hospice manifests and facilitates virtues essential to living well with human dependency and vulnerability. For this reason, perinatal hospice deserves broad support within society.

Research abstracts