Parental refusals of medical treatment: The harm principle as threshold for state intervention

Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 25 (4):243-264 (2004)
Abstract
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
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 10,760
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Citations of this work BETA
A. S. Iltis (2010). Toward a Coherent Account of Pediatric Decision Making. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 35 (5):526-552.

View all 7 citations

Similar books and articles
Analytics

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2009-01-28

Total downloads

152 ( #4,777 of 1,098,955 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

13 ( #13,031 of 1,098,955 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Start a new thread
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.