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Charlie’s Law
Charlie’s Law

Clarifying the Legal Standard to be Used in Medical Decision-Making for Children

Author(s): Sarah Sargent
Subject(s): Law, Constitution, Jurisprudence, Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, Ethics / Practical Philosophy, Court case
Published by: Trivent Publishing
Keywords: legal standard; children law; medical decision-making; significant harm; best interests; paternalism
Summary/Abstract: The case of Charlie Gard highlights an area of law which is in critical need of reform and clarification: which legal standard should be applied in medical decision-making situations for children, when there is an effort to override the wishes of the parents. Charlie’s Law would make clear the threshold is that of “significant harm” and not of “best interests,” ensuring more protection for parental wishes and reducing needless interference, amounting to an exercise of arbitrary paternalism, from medical treaters and courts. This chapter explores the significance and benefits of clearly establishing the “significant harm” threshold.

  • Page Range: 78-94
  • Page Count: 17
  • Publication Year: 2019
  • Language: English