43 Fam. Ct. Rev. 527, *
The decision to terminate
support, especially for an infant or
child, is one no parent or family should
have to make.
However, in these tragic situations the parent should be able to exercise his or her discretion to
when he or she is "wholly supported by the other parent and the child's treating physicians."
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
sustaining treatment from a terminally ill
in a permanent vegetative state, with no reasonable chance of recovery,
than the court.
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.
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.
Bush v. Schiavo,
885 So. 2d 321, 330 (Fla. 2004),
http://news.findlaw.com/cnn/docs/schiavo/flsct92304opn.pdf (last visited
Jan. 16, 2005).
Judge Upholds Decision In Baby Aiden Case
S=2154057&nav=LUELPhaH (last visited Feb. 26, 2005); Associated Press,
Brain-Damaged Baby to Stay on
(Dec. 30, 2004)
http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory?id=371501 (last visited Feb. 26, 2005).
David B. Caruso,
Treating the Terminally Ill,
CBS NEWS.COM, Dec. 12, 2002,
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2002/12/12/health/main532866.shtml (last visited Jan. 29, 2005) [hereinafter
Treating the Terminally Ill
Tara L. Kuther,
Medical Decision-Making and
Issues of Consent and Assent
http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m2248/is_150_38/ai_109027885 (last visited Jan. 27, 2005) [hereinafter
"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
treated as adults capable of giving informed consent.
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
age 13 or older to consent to treatment.