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Dying Young

Dying Young COMMENTARY Cues From the Courts Rhonda Gay Hartman, JD, PhD n an age where longevity is coveted and celebrated, dying young seems antithetical to the extraordinary biomedical achievements that extend and enhance life. Yet, many adoles- cents die in hospitals from disease and accident. Despite extensive law and literature ad- I dressing end-of-life issues for adults, little information exists about particular concerns and challenges confronting dying adolescents. This information is important not only for improving quality of care but, to some extent, for providing a mirror that reflects the way we ought to treat any dying patient. The Fourteenth Amendment liberty con- parental consent or notification. These cept safeguards medical decision making statutes, however, authorize adolescent by competent adults, including refusal of medical decision making when consent- life-prolonging care. Although the scope ing to, rather than refusing, treatment and of constitutionally protected decision- do not expressly include decision mak- making autonomy by adolescents is not ing about end-of-life care. Despite piece- clear, the US Supreme Court stated that meal attempts by state legislators to af- inexperience limits minors’ legal au- ford decision-making autonomy to tonomy for “making life’s difficult deci- adolescents for medical care, the lack of a 2(p605) http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png JAMA Pediatrics American Medical Association

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Publisher
American Medical Association
Copyright
Copyright 2004 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.
ISSN
2168-6203
eISSN
2168-6211
DOI
10.1001/archpedi.158.7.615
pmid
15237058
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

COMMENTARY Cues From the Courts Rhonda Gay Hartman, JD, PhD n an age where longevity is coveted and celebrated, dying young seems antithetical to the extraordinary biomedical achievements that extend and enhance life. Yet, many adoles- cents die in hospitals from disease and accident. Despite extensive law and literature ad- I dressing end-of-life issues for adults, little information exists about particular concerns and challenges confronting dying adolescents. This information is important not only for improving quality of care but, to some extent, for providing a mirror that reflects the way we ought to treat any dying patient. The Fourteenth Amendment liberty con- parental consent or notification. These cept safeguards medical decision making statutes, however, authorize adolescent by competent adults, including refusal of medical decision making when consent- life-prolonging care. Although the scope ing to, rather than refusing, treatment and of constitutionally protected decision- do not expressly include decision mak- making autonomy by adolescents is not ing about end-of-life care. Despite piece- clear, the US Supreme Court stated that meal attempts by state legislators to af- inexperience limits minors’ legal au- ford decision-making autonomy to tonomy for “making life’s difficult deci- adolescents for medical care, the lack of a 2(p605)

Journal

JAMA PediatricsAmerican Medical Association

Published: Jul 1, 2004

References