ELECTIVE SURGERY—WHEN PARENTAL AND MEDICAL OPINION SUPERSEDES A CHILD’S RIGHT TO CHOOSE

Abstract

In Raising a Woman, Mary was fourteen when she had an operation that would forever deprive her of the ability to bear a child. In facing this surgery, she had no choice in the matter, no option to say no, and no advocate asking what she wanted. She was alone and left without a voice because her physician, and even her own mother, had taken her choice away. When Mary received a hysterectomy, her mother's needs were addressed-the monthly anguish in caring for her daughter's menstruation was eliminated, thereby diminishing the extremely difficult turn that her life had taken in raising a daughter with Cerebral Palsy. But Mary was left empty. It was not a medical necessity, nor would it serve to benefit Mary directly. Instead, the surgery would benefit those that aided Mary in her daily activities. Nonetheless, it was Mary who paid the price for this moment. Alone, without a voice, and choiceless in a doctor's treatment or mother's care, Mary forever lost her ability to bear a child, the weight of which fundamentally effects her to this day, decades later. This Note explores a minor's choice in regards to medical decision-making. Although a short excerpt includes information about minor's general right to consent, the majority of the article focuses on a minor's right to refuse treatment. The Note begins with a brief history of the law surrounding medical care for children with disabilities, and offers parallel examples that demonstrate Mary's predicament through a discussion of different types of elective medical care. Next, the Note focuses on minor's right to refuse treatment, a doctor's duty to her patient, and lastly a parent's duty to her child.
How to Cite
. ELECTIVE SURGERY—WHEN PARENTAL AND MEDICAL OPINION SUPERSEDES A CHILD’S RIGHT TO CHOOSE. Journal of Law and Family Studies, [S.l.], v. 11, n. 2, dec. 2009. Available at: <http://epubs.utah.edu/index.php/jlfs/article/view/236>. Date accessed: 25 nov. 2017.
Section
Monologues and Commentary