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Ethical Decisions Student’s name Course title Instructor’s name Name of Institution Date Ethical Decisions Parental Refusal of Life-Saving Care for a Minor Child Introduction The principle of parental refusal of life-saving care for a minor child is one of the most recurrent in many hospitals across the world compared to other current ethical health care issues.
Due to the nature of this circumstance, various ethical issues usually tend to arise. The major ethical issues that usually arise include: autonomy, beneficence, non-maleficence, and justice. Minors are considered not be competent enough to consent to treatment. A proxy with parental responsibility is expected to make decisions which are deemed to be in the best interests of the minor especially in life-saving care (Gaudine, et al., 2011). However, if it is not deemed to be so, the decision made by the proxy can be overruled by the court. The court can also consent on the child’s behalf and can overrule the refusal by the parent to consent to life-saving care. This is evidenced by the overruling of cases over Jehovah’s Witnesses believers refusal to consent to life saving blood transfusion. Whereas this seems to be against certain ethical principles, they are deemed to be within these principles in some respect (Clark, Cott, and Drinka, 2007). It is against this background that this paper will seek to examine and evaluate how each of the four major ethical principles can be applied to this issue. Autonomy The autonomy principle is one of the guiding medical ethics principles that mean that patients have the right to choose what is done to their respective bodies or that of the people they have responsibility over (Clark, Cott, and Drinka, 2007). ...
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