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Lifeboat Ethics - Hughes.docx

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Western University
Philosophy 2810F/G
Jennifer Epp

LIFEBOAT ETHICS – MOTHERLY LOVE IN BRAZIL – SCHEPER HUGHES  For the women and children of the alto do cruzeiro the only miracle is that some of them have managed to stay alive at all  Vast social and developmental problems  1 million children in Brazil under the age of 5 die each year  But any child not in school is also expected to find wage work – babies are simply left at home alone the door securely fastened  In most alto homes dangerous kerosene lamps have been replaced by light bulbs  Seeming indifference of Alto women to the death of their infants  More difficult to enlist a mother herself in the rescue of a child she perceived as ill fated for life or a better off dead  Mothers stepped back and allowed nature to take its course, this pattern is called mortal selective neglect or passive infanticide  Part of learning how to mother in alto do cruzeiro is learning when to let go of a child who shows that it wants to die or that it has not knack or no taste for life  The chronic cases refer to infants who are born small and w
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