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Parental Refusal of Life-Saving Care for a Minor Child - Research Paper Example

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The paper "Parental Refusal of Life-Saving Care for a Minor Child" higlhights that the four major ethical principles of autonomy, beneficence, non-maleficence, and justice are central to addressing the current healthcare issues. They are the foundation of ethical analyses of any healthcare issue. …
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Parental Refusal of Life-Saving Care for a Minor Child
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Download file to see previous pages Various ethical issues usually tend to arise. The major ethical issues that usually arise include autonomy, beneficence, non-maleficence, and justice. Minors are considered not be competent enough to consent to treatment. A proxy with parental responsibility is expected to make decisions which are deemed to be in the best interests of the minor especially in life-saving care (Gaudine, et al., 2011). However, if it is not deemed to be so, the decision made by the proxy can be overruled by the court. The court can also consent on the child’s behalf and can overrule the refusal by the parent to consent to life-saving care. This is evidenced by the overruling of cases over Jehovah’s Witnesses believers refusal to consent to life-saving blood transfusion. Whereas this seems to be against certain ethical principles, they are deemed to be within these principles in some respect (Clark, Cott, and Drinka, 2007). It is against this background that this paper will seek to examine and evaluate how each of the four major ethical principles can be applied to this issue. Autonomy The autonomy principle is one of the guiding medical ethics principles that mean that patients have the right to choose what is done to their respective bodies or that of the people they have responsibility for (Clark, Cott, and Drinka, 2007). For minors, the parents decide for them. The question, however, arises on what happens when parents refuse to consent life-saving care for a minor? In an event that doctors believe that the parents are not acting on the best interests of the child, they can go to court in order to try and convince the judge that the court should take temporary child custody and appoint a guardian so as to allow the life-saving treatment to be undertaken on the child (Gaudine et al, 2011). This is where the court consent applies to the child.  ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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