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Ethical problems with information on infant feeding in developed countries
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Centre for Research Ethics and Bioethics. (CRB)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9683-7005
(Delft University of Technology/Philosophy)
2011 (English)In: Public Health Ethics, Vol. 4, no 2, p. 192-202Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Most sources providing information on infant feeding strongly recommend breastfeeding. The WHO and UNICEF recommend that women breastfeed their babies and that health professionals promote breastfeeding. This creates severe pressure on women to breastfeed, a pressure which is ethically questionable since many women have physical or emotional problems with breastfeeding. In this article, we use insights from the ethics of risk to criticize the current breastfeeding policy. We argue that there are problems related to balancing aggregate wellbeing versus individual wellbeing, that not enough attention is paid to alternatives, that women’s emotions and their need for free choice should be considered and that issues of equity are currently overlooked. We also criticize the way scientific information is presented in the current policy. We conclude that the official sources of information on infant feeding should be revised. Information should be more nuanced and designed to support mothers, and families in making a free choice on what is the best way to feed their babies.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 4, no 2, p. 192-202
National Category
Ethics
Research subject
Ethics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-353329DOI: 10.1093/phe/phr019OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-353329DiVA, id: diva2:1216886
Available from: 2018-06-12 Created: 2018-06-12 Last updated: 2018-09-20Bibliographically approved

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Nihlén Fahlquist, Jessica

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