Legal Aspects of Withholding Treatment From Handicapped Newborns: Substantive Issues
Robertson, John A.
Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law. 1986 Summer; 11(2): 215-230.
Robertson examines the substantive criminal and civil legal principles that may be applied in considerations of nontreatment of handicapped newborns. He analyses several court decisions that illustrate the extent of parental authority; the grounds for state intervention; the physician's legal obligations to the child; and the legal liability of hospitals, health personnel, and parents for nontreatment. The author accepts as the operative principle a patient-centered approach in which, for some infants, withholding treatment may be in the child's best interests. Robertson holds that, although the final Baby Doe regulations begin to recognize this principle, they do not recognize the extent to which nontreatment may be consonant with the infant's interests. He urges establishment of criteria for nontreatment and definition of the proper roles of physicians, parents, hospitals, infant care review committees, and courts in deciding whether these criteria are met. (KIE abstract)
Allowing to Die; Child Abuse; Clinical Ethics; Clinical Ethics Committees; Congenital Disorders; Contracts; Criminal Law; Decision Making; Ethics; Ethics Committees; Federal Government; Government; Government Regulation; Health; Health Personnel; Hospitals; Infants; Judicial Action; Killing; Law; Legal Aspects; Legal Liability; Legal Obligations; Life; Liability; Newborns; Nurses; Pain; Parents; Physicians; Quality of Life; Regulation; Review; Review Committees; Risks and Benefits; Selection for Treatment; Standards; Suffering; Torts; Treatment Refusal; Withholding Treatment;
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