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Legal issues: minors' decision-making capacity to refuse life-saving and life-sustaining treatment: legal and psychiatric perspectives

Mendelson, Danuta 2014, Legal issues: minors' decision-making capacity to refuse life-saving and life-sustaining treatment: legal and psychiatric perspectives, Journal of law and medicine, vol. 21, no. 4, pp. 762-773.

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Title Legal issues: minors' decision-making capacity to refuse life-saving and life-sustaining treatment: legal and psychiatric perspectives
Author(s) Mendelson, DanutaORCID iD for Mendelson, Danuta orcid.org/0000-0001-8955-0954
Contributor(s) Haywood,I
Journal name Journal of law and medicine
Volume number 21
Issue number 4
Start page 762
End page 773
Total pages 12
Publisher Thomson Reuters
Place of publication Rozelle, NSW
Publication date 2014
ISSN 1320-159X
Summary Laws in Belgium and the Netherlands permit euthanasia and assisted suicide for seriously ill children who experience "constant and unbearable suffering" – they have the capacity to request death by lethal injection if they convey a "reasonable understanding of the consequences" of that request. The child's capacity to understand death is therefore a prerequisite to the implementation of the request. However, modern neuro-psychological and fMRI (functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging) studies of the relationship between the neuro-anatomical development of the brain in human beings and their emotional and experiential capacity, demonstrates that both are not fully developed until the early 20s for girls and mid-20s for boys. Unlike Belgium and the Netherlands, the clinical and legal implications of the immaturity of the brain on medical decision-making of minors, in particular life and death decisions, have been implicit in the Australian courts' approach to the refusal of life-saving and life-sustaining treatment by minors. This approach is exemplified by X v Sydney Children's Hospitals Network [2013] NSWCA 320 (and a series of earlier cases).
Language eng
Field of Research 180126 Tort Law
180122 Legal Theory, Jurisprudence and Legal Interpretation
Socio Economic Objective 940101 Ability and Disability
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2014, Thomson Reuters
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30068103

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Law
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Created: Mon, 08 Dec 2014, 13:11:59 EST

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