David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 25 (4):243-264 (2004)
Minors are generally considered incompetent to provide legally binding decisions regarding their health care, and parents or guardians are empowered to make those decisions on their behalf. Parental authority is not absolute, however, and when a parent acts contrary to the best interests of a child, the state may intervene. The best interests standard is the threshold most frequently employed in challenging a parent''s refusal to provide consent for a child''s medical care. In this paper, I will argue that the best interest standard provides insufficient guidance for decision-making regarding children and does not reflect the actual standard used by medical providers and courts. Rather, I will suggest that the Harm Principle provides a more appropriate threshold for state intervention than the Best Interest standard. Finally, I will suggest a series of criteria that can be used in deciding whether the state should intervene in a parent''s decision to refuse medical care on behalf of a child.
|Keywords||best interest children harm principle informed consent for minors medical neglect parental refusals proxy consent surrogate decision-making|
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References found in this work BETA
Tom L. Beauchamp (2009). Principles of Biomedical Ethics. Oxford University Press.
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Citations of this work BETA
Lisa A. Hom, Tomas J. Silber, Kathleen Ennis-Durstine, Mary Anne Hilliard & Gerard R. Martin (2016). Legal and Ethical Considerations in Allowing Parental Exemptions From Newborn Critical Congenital Heart Disease Screening. American Journal of Bioethics 16 (1):11-17.
Dominic James Wilkinson (2011). A Life Worth Giving? The Threshold for Permissible Withdrawal of Life Support From Disabled Newborn Infants. American Journal of Bioethics 11 (2):20 - 32.
Michael Nair-Collins (2015). Laying Futility to Rest. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 40 (5):554-583.
A. S. Iltis (2010). Toward a Coherent Account of Pediatric Decision Making. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 35 (5):526-552.
Rosalind Mcdougall & Lauren Notini (2014). Overriding Parents’ Medical Decisions for Their Children: A Systematic Review of Normative Literature. Journal of Medical Ethics 40 (7):448-452.
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