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Bioethics and the Health of Children. Larry R. Churchill Center for Biomedical Ethics & Society Vanderbilt University. Major Themes. The U.S. medical care system is hazardous to the health of children Medicare is one of the largest hazards

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bioethics and the health of children
Bioethics and the Health of Children

Larry R. ChurchillCenter for Biomedical Ethics & SocietyVanderbilt University

major themes
Major Themes

The U.S. medical care system is hazardous to the health of children

Medicare is one of the largest hazards

Making the health of children paramount will require new ways of thinking--a cultural shift

Why the health of children is important to everyone

Physicians (especially pediatricians) have an important role in making policy changes

intergenerational vs lifespan
Intergenerational vs. Lifespan

Synchronic thinking

Views needs and interests at a point in time for segments of the population

Diachronic thinking

Views needs and interests of total population over a lifetime

the blessings of finitude
The Blessings of Finitude

All philosophy is training for death.

--Socrates

Teach us to number our days, that we may get a heart of wisdom.

--Psalm 90

Teaching people to die is teaching them to live.

--Montaigne

Any definition of health that is not silly must include death.

---Wendell Berry

why worry about children s health
Why Worry about Children’s Health?

What a mature society would do

The vulnerability of the young

On-going stability of social service and medical care systems for adults depends on healthy children

How young workers will feel/think about older adults if they were deprived as children …solidarity, reciprocity

Mutualism—relationships in which both parties benefit from the interaction (Erik Erikson)