Medical Decision Making for Minors
The focus of the issue is that, to what extent parents are responsible for making appropriate medical decisions for their children and what our children’s right in this context. In general, parents are conscientious for the care and guardianship of their children and that is why they are presumed to have the ability to make the best decision for their child’s betterment. However, in the case of adolescents, the situation is quite confusing as they are psychologically mature enough to make a decision for themselves but are irresponsible and often overlook the long-term consequences and impacts of those decisions on their lives which might be due to their impulsive nature. A decision of minors should only be considered after assuring that the adolescent is aware of the purpose of treatment, risks, benefits, side effects and alternatives of the treatment with a guarantee that the minor is able to make an informed decision. (Hickey, 2009)Since 1976’s publication of the American Academy of Pediatrics (APP) the legal concept of informed consent has become developed and more formal than the past. (Bartholome,1995). Now the law suggests that physicians should involve children and parents both in seeking the appropriate medical treatment for minors. This also allows physicians to contradict or challenge a parent’s decision if their decision puts the child’s life at stake.Still, states and courts don’t allow the children’s, less than twelve years of age, to make medical decisions for themselves. The responsibility of making medical decision falls on the shoulders of parents. Even though in the cases of harm subjected to the child by their parents, a law has limited authority and ability to challenge their position. (Jenniferamp. Rosata,2009). The law favours the rights of parents on the basis of chronological age, self-sufficiency and marital or parental status. Since it is a controversial issue, there is the wide difference in states decisions in response to these disputes. (Hickey,2007)Technology’s advancements sometimes cross the ethical, legal and religious boundaries set by a society.