Could We Trust Parents? Bioethical Analysis of Biomedical Intervention on Healthy Children


  • Veselin Mitrović Institute of Social Sciences, Belgrade, Serbia



family, children, autonomy, beneficence, paternalism, bio-technologies, enhancement


This text deals with the bioethical analysis of biotechnologies and biomedical interventions for healthy children to achieve a better life for them. The study of such a situation requires that the relationship between respect for autonomy and beneficence should be considered from two perspectives: first, from the perspective of parents as holders of the right to make decisions about the treatment and improvement of their minor children (the principle of respect for autonomy). In that case, parents are guided by the principle of benevolence and paternalistically demand interventions with new bio-medical technologies to make their children's lives better, that is, to improve them. Another approach to the same problem refers to the pressure of children on their parents to provide them with a better life through medical interventions that are increasingly imposed as a social, gender, and aesthetic demand and promoted as an exit of "social suffering," to which individuals who do not meet such requirements are exposed. Bearing in mind both aspects, we analyze the possibility of solving emerging social problems through the potential transfer of the principle of autonomy (owned by parents) to the creditors of the right to make decisions regarding medical interventions for healthy children. Such concerns become particularly relevant given the complexity of the old question: Do parents see their children as an extension of their motives and ambitions? In that case, instead of the decision of the children and the family, an active role in deciding on the implementation of the interventions above should be played by independent professional and ethical commissions, which assess whether the holders of the right to make decisions aim to treat or improve healthy children and that these interventions would be possibly more adequate before some invasive application of biotechnological means.


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How to Cite

Mitrović, Veselin. 2024. “Could We Trust Parents? Bioethical Analysis of Biomedical Intervention on Healthy Children”. Etnoantropološki Problemi Issues in Ethnology and Anthropology 18 (4):1143–1161.