Education And Debate

Legal barriers might have catastrophic effects

BMJ 1996; 312 doi: (Published 27 January 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;312:242
  1. Peter Browett, senior lecturer in haematologya,
  2. Stephen Palmer, clinical director of haematologyb
  1. a Department of Molecular Medicine, University of Auckland, Private Bag 92019, Auckland, New Zealand
  2. b Auckland Hospital, Auckland, New Zealand
  1. Correspondence to: Dr Browett.

    Linda Delany has addressed the question of volunteering children for bone marrow transplant donation purely within a legal framework. She suggests that two legal approaches are possible: one which centres on treatment which is in “the best interests of the child” and the other which looks at treatment which is “not against the interests of the child.”

    Despite these two contrasting legal approaches, she subsequently considers only the first: the principle that the procedure should be performed only if it serves the best interest of the donor child. She argues that children need to be protected by an independent authority from being “volunteered” for bone marrow donation. The second approach, however, is equally relevant: that parents can give …

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