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Author Archive: John Paris

05/11/2018

Family-Physician Conflict on Medical Treatment: The Charlie Gard and Alfie Evans Cases

by John J. Paris, SJ

The widely publicized conflicts between families and physicians over treatment decisions for profoundly compromised children in the recent Charlie Gard and Alfie Evans cases revive topics as old as the history of Western medicine on who should determine medical treatment and on what standard. The treatise in the Hippocratic Corpus entitled The Art defines medicine as having three roles: doing away with the suffering of the sick, lessening the violence of their diseases, and refusing to treat those who are overmastered by their diseases, realizing that in such cases medicine is powerless.” That theme is also found in Book III of Plato’s Republic.

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