This timely collection brings together philosophical, legal and sociological perspectives on the crucial question of who should make decisions about the fate of a child suffering from a serious illness. In particular, the collection looks at whether the current 'best interests' threshold is the appropriate boundary for legal intervention, or whether it would be more appropriate to adopt the 'risk of significant harm' approach proposed in Gard. It explores the roles of parents, doctors and the courts in making decisions on behalf of children, actively drawing on perspectives from the clinic as well as academia and practice. In doing so, it teases out the potential risks of inappropriate state intrusion in parental decision-making, and considers how we might address them.
Table Of Contents:
Imogen Goold, Cressida Auckland and Jonathan Herring 1. Setting the Scene – Supporting and Informing Shared Decision-Making at the Bedside: Avoiding and De-escalating Conflict between Clinicians and Families Emily Harrop 2. Evaluating 'Best Interests' as a Threshold for Judicial Intervention in Medical Decision-Making on Behalf of Children Imogen Goold 3. Parental Decisions and Court Jurisdiction: Best Interests or Significant Harm? Rachel Taylor 4. The Legal Basis of the Court's Jurisdiction to Authorise Medical Treatment of Children Rob George 5. In Defence of a Conditional Harm Threshold Test for Paediatric Decision-Making Dominic Wilkinson 6. The Harm Threshold: A View from the Clinic Giles Birchley 7. Beyond Best Interests: A Question of Professional Conscience? Jo Bridgeman 8. Preserving the Therapeutic Alliance: Court Intervention and Experimental Treatment Requests Sara Fovargue 9. Futility Cressida Auckland 10. Vulnerability and Medical Decisions Concerning Children Jonathan Herring 11. Resolving Disagreements about the Care of Critically Ill Children: Evaluating Existing Processes and Setting the Research Agenda Louise Austin and Richard Huxtable