Family Law Prof Blog

Editor: Margaret Ryznar
Indiana University
Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Law Review Article: Adolescent Health Care Decisions

Mutchers "This article queries whether the law inappropriately deprives adolescents of the right to participate in and potentially direct their own healthcare.  I argue that the broad withholding of healthcare decision-making rights from adolescents is morally unfounded and practically unnecessary and that the age marker dividing childhood from adulthood for purposes of healthcare decision-making has been set too high. Evidence of adolescent cognitive abilities requires a re-imagining of the appropriate balance between over and under protection of young people in the law. In choosing  the chronological age marker of eighteen, the law denies rights to fourteen to seventeen-year-old adolescents who are generally capable of exercising such rights in a thoughtful fashion." Kimberly M. Mutcherson, Whose Body Is It Anyway? An Updated Model of Healthcare Decision-making Rights for Adolescents, 14 Cornell J. L. & Pub. Pol'7 251 (2005).Link to Article (last visited 4-26-06 NVS)

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