Reasonable Parental and Medical Obligations in Pediatric Extraordinary Therapy

The Linacre Quarterly 86 (2-3):198-206 (2019)
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Abstract

The English cases of Charlie Gard and Alfie Evans involved a conflict between the desires of their parents to preserve their children’s lives and judgments of their medical teams in pursuit of clinically appropriate therapy. The treatment the children required was clearly extraordinary, including a wide array of advanced life-sustaining technological support. The cases exemplify a clash of worldviews rooted in different philosophies of life and medical care. The article highlights the differing perspectives on parental authority in medical care in England, Canada, and the United States. Furthermore, it proposes a solution that accommodates for both reasonable parental desires and professional medical opinion. This is achieved by looking at concepts of extraordinary therapy, best interest, reasonable parenthood and medical objections.

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Michal Pruski
University of Manchester

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