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Law and MedicineCurrent Legal Issues Volume 3$
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Michael Freeman and Andrew Lewis

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780198299189

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198299189.001.0001

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Can We Leave the Best Interests of Very Sick Children to their Parents?

Can We Leave the Best Interests of Very Sick Children to their Parents?

(p.257) Can We Leave the Best Interests of Very Sick Children to their Parents?
Law and Medicine

Michael Freeman

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the issue of parental rights over the care for their sick child. The fullest, modern statement of minimum state intervention in parent–child relations is articulated by Goldstein, Freud, Goldstein, and Solnit. They argue that: ‘The child’s need for security within the confines of the family must be met by law through its recognition of family privacy as the barrier to state intrusion upon parental autonomy. These rights — parental autonomy, a child’s entitlement to autonomous parents, and privacy — are essential ingredients of family integrity’. Why parents have rights, the limits of these rights, and quality of life decisions are discussed.

Keywords:   parents, parental rights, sick children, family integrity, quality of life

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