Additionally, it is also a decisive concern on who acts on the person's behalf if he/she is incompetent in order to protect his/her interests. It is stated clearly as one of the rights of patients that they have a right to refuse treatment to the extent permitted by law (Annas 1989). Despite the critical issue in medical law that surrounds the protection of interests on children and incompetent adults, the decisions as to the withholding or withdrawal of medical treatment is being settled on the discretion of the court provided that patient's incompetence has been clearly determine.
Most of the problems and difficulties when working with very premature babies are related to practical problems of the management and medical treatment. This has created confusion between parents and the medical staff on their decision over the actions that have to be taken. Such a particular has been recurrent yet still has to be highlighted if we are to ensure that all babies can receive the best care and attention. Even though there have been great improvements in the care of babies, we've yet to find the best ways in managing these problems that may arise.
According to Brazier and Lobjoit (1991), even though it is ideal to obtain consent of the parents prior to entering babies into a new study, there are some circumstances in neonatal care where it is very difficult and even almost unethical to try to obtain properly informed consent. In these circumstances if the doctors are always constrained to obtain consent this may either prevent a satisfactory study from taking place or bias the study, because not all the babies with a particular problem would be eligible and it may unnecessarily increase the parents' anxiety level.
However, ethics still comes out as the guiding principle. It would be unethical in trying to answer a relevant problem without consent as much as conducting what one considers to be an inadequate study or the obviously dishonorable way of never conducting the study so that no one knows the right way to cope with that particular problem. Brazier and Lobjoit (1991) make a final point that informed consent is as important in neonatal studies as in any other situation. On the other hand there are circumstances when the most ethical thing to do is to conduct the study without asking for the parent's consent due to the nature of the problems encountered both in terms of the care of the baby and the parents.
Medical Ethics on Children
As much as caring with premature babies, infants and children draw up concerns that ought somebody to be particularly careful (WMA 1989). The MRC (1964) suggest strict rules to be followed by hospitals in dealing with children. The council suggested that one cannot undertake research on children that is not directly intended to benefit those children. And in 1973, the RCP (1973) permits the non-therapeutic research as an exemption and could be conducted if those procedures brought about negligible risk or discomfort. However, the guidelines failed to define what is meant by "negligible. It was the BPA guidelines in 1980 that lays out particular consideration in non-therapeutic research on children. They suggest the consideration of an examination of the degree of benefit which might result. One particular example given