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Vol 25 No 1 Jan/Feb 2020

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Parental Rights, Best Interests and Significant Harms: Medical Decision-Making on Behalf of Children Post-Great Ormond Street Hospital v Gard

Edited by: Imogen Goold, Jonathan Herring, Cressida Auckland

ISBN13: 9781509924899
Published: November 2019
Publisher: Hart Publishing
Country of Publication: UK
Format: Hardback
Price: £60.00

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The question of whether and how decisions are made in respect of a child’s medical treatment has become a matter of significant public controversy following the highly publicised cases of Charlie Gard (Great Ormond Street Hospital v Yates [2017]) and Alfie Evans (Alder Hey Children's NHS Foundation Trust v Evans et al [2018]). In light of this background, this timely collection brings together commentators from law, medical ethics and clinical medicine, actively drawing on the view from the clinic as well as philosophical, legal and sociological perspectives on the crucial question of who should decide 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 is appropriate to adopt the ‘risk of significant harm’ approach proposed in Yates. Moreover, it explores the respective roles of parents, doctors and the courts and the possible risks of inappropriate state intrusion in parental decision-making, and how we might address them.

Medical Law, Family Law, Children
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