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Bioethics seminar: Calling time on collision sport for children?

All University, Public
Event type
Department seminar
Bioethics Centre

With Dr Taryn Knox, Professor Lynley Anderson and Alex Gilbert

Collision sports pose a high risk of concussion. How to respond to this risk is more ethically complex when considering children and adolescents due to the paucity of evidence and the vulnerabilities experienced by this group.

We consider whether parents should be free to allow their children/adolescents to play contact or collision sport. We present the harms and benefits of collision sports, methods of determining risk, ‘best interests’ and ‘right to an open future’ frameworks, and outline our support for the precautionary principle.

Rather than banning child/adolescent participation in collision sport, we argue that permissibility should be decided on a sport-by-sport basis. Finally, we apply the ‘Accountability of Reasonableness’ framework to ensure that sound ethical values guide and support protections for this vulnerable group in the absence of high-quality evidence.



Angela Neugebauer


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