A five-year-old Newport girl was taken into care after her weight reached more than 10 stone. Medical causes for her obesity had been excluded and she had continued to gain weight despite her parents being warned that they were putting her health at risk.  She had weighed 10st 5lbs (66.1kg) – more than three times the weight of a healthy child her age. So in August 2012, and she was removed from her otherwise loving parents and put into foster care. By September 2013 her weight had fallen to 7st 7lb [49kg] which is still obese but a marked improvement. What ethical issues does this raise? Were social workers right to act in this way? What do you think?


This scenario can be looked at using the four pillars of medical ethics; beneficence [benefit], maleficence [harm], autonomy and justice. ethical scenarios arise when there is a conflict between these…

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