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Are premature babies citizens with rights? Provision rights and the edges of citizenship

Alderson, P; Hawthorne, J; Killen, M; (2005) Are premature babies citizens with rights? Provision rights and the edges of citizenship. Journal of Social Science (India) , 9 pp. 71-81. Green open access

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Abstract

Premature babies are the same gestational age as the fetus that, in Britain, has no rights. However, our ethnographic neonatal study illustrates how the UN 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child applies to premature babies. Parents and staff in neonatal units offered socially and culturally constructed versions of childhood relating to versions of citizenship, duties, responsibilities and rights. Far from denying or trivialising rights, attention to premature babies’ rights and citizenship can illuminate how human rights are embodied, aesthetic, interactive, emotional, political, economic and socially contingent. The babies’ resistances also illustrated the relevance of rights to them as sentient, active meaning makers, within the private family and the public neonatal units. We review advantages and disadvantages of conceptualising premature babies’ needs as rights, and their status as citizens.

Type: Article
Title: Are premature babies citizens with rights? Provision rights and the edges of citizenship
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Publisher version: http://krepublishers.com/special_volume_children_c...
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and condition
Keywords: neonatal care, learning from babies, health care rights
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Social Research Institute
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1493896
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