The Participation Rights of Premature Babies PRISCILLAALDERSON Professor of Childhood Studies, Social Science Reseach Unit, Institute of Education, University of London JOANNAHAWTHORNE Senior Research Associate, Centre for Family Reseach, University of Cambridge MARGARET KILLEN Research Ofﬁcer, Social Science Research Unit, Institute of Education, University of London Introduction Is it appropriate or useful to phrase premature babies’needs, welfare, or best interests in the language of babies’rights? Can babies be rights-holders? This paper reviews the relevance of the UN 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), and particularly the so-called participation rights, to prema- ture babies and their care. The review is illustrated with examples drawn from a study of four neonatal intensive care units, NICU. The ﬁrst part of this paper presents the background on human and children’s rights, on research about childhood, babies and participation, and on the neonatal research study. Examples from the study illustrate how participation rights relate to premature babies. The paper concludes that respect for babies’participation rights is fea- sible, immediate, integral and indispensable to adequate neonatal care, and that babies’rights justify and validate high standards of care. Rights Rights are justiﬁed on two main grounds. First, they may be seen as
The International Journal of Children's Rights – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2005
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