43 fam foot and sum

43 fam foot and sum - Page 8 43 Fam. Ct. Rev. 527, * VI....

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Page 8 43 Fam. Ct. Rev. 527, * VI. SUMMARY The decision to terminate life support, especially for an infant or minor child, is one no parent or family should have to make. n137 However, in these tragic situations the parent should be able to exercise his or her discretion to terminate the life when he or she is "wholly supported by the other parent and the child's treating physicians." n138 Technological advancements appear to have displaced the courts; health care professionals and the medical community, with the consent of both parents, are better able to determine when it is appropriate to withdraw or withhold life - sustaining treatment from a terminally ill minor in a permanent vegetative state, with no reasonable chance of recovery, than the court. n139 [*536] There are exceptions, however, and courts remain available to adjudicate in extraordinary circumstances, such as where the parties disagree, but for the present and the foreseeable future, judicial intervention is not an effective forum for these complex "ethical, moral, [and] legal" decisions. n140 When the judicial system intervenes, family privacy and patient autonomy are undermined. Judicial intervention is not necessary if the safeguards in place are used judiciously and society avails itself of the tools at hand. FOOTNOTES: n1 Bush v. Schiavo, 885 So. 2d 321, 330 (Fla. 2004), available at http://news.findlaw.com/cnn/docs/schiavo/flsct92304opn.pdf (last visited Jan. 16, 2005). n2 Associated Press, Judge Upholds Decision In Baby Aiden Case (2004) at http://www.onnnews.com/Global/story.asp? S=2154057&nav=LUELPhaH (last visited Feb. 26, 2005); Associated Press, Brain-Damaged Baby to Stay on Life Support (Dec. 30, 2004) at http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory?id=371501 (last visited Feb. 26, 2005). n3 David B. Caruso, Treating the Terminally Ill, CBS NEWS.COM, Dec. 12, 2002, available at http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2002/12/12/health/main532866.shtml (last visited Jan. 29, 2005) [hereinafter Treating the Terminally Ill ]. n4 Tara L. Kuther, Medical Decision-Making and Minors: Issues of Consent and Assent (Summer 2003), at http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m2248/is_150_38/ai_109027885 (last visited Jan. 27, 2005) [hereinafter Medical Decision Making and Minors ]. n5 Id. Emancipated minors "live independently of their parents." This status can be brought about by "marriage, military service, parental consent, parenthood, judicial order, and financial independence." For the purposes of medical decision making, emancipated minors are treated as adults capable of giving informed consent. n6 Id. In the event of "problem-related treatments" such as "contraception, sexually transmitted diseases, pregnancy, alcohol and drug abuse, and psychiatric problems" a majority of states permit minors age 13 or older to consent to treatment. n7
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43 fam foot and sum - Page 8 43 Fam. Ct. Rev. 527, * VI....

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