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Boletín médico del Hospital Infantil de México

versión impresa ISSN 1665-1146


GUADARRAMA-OROZCO, Jessica H.; GARDUNO ESPINOSA, Juan; VARGAS LOPEZ, Guillermo  y  VIESCA TREVINO, Carlos. Informed consent and parental refusal to medical treatment in childhood. The threshold of medical and social tolerance. Part I. Bol. Med. Hosp. Infant. Mex. [online]. 2015, vol.72, n.3, pp.208-214. ISSN 1665-1146.

Informed consent is a right of all individuals and no one can force anyone to receive treatment against their wishes. The right to accept or refuse treatment persists in individuals who are incompetent from a legal point of view; this is exercised on their behalf by a third party. Children are considered incompetent to make medical decisions about their own health and their parents or legal guardians are empowered to make those decisions. However, parental authority is not absolute and there are situations where their decisions are not the best, sometimes leading to jeopardizing the well-being and even the lives of their children, forcing the state to intervene on behalf of the best interests of the child. This is the reason why it is necessary to ask the following questions: is it really the child's best interest that moves us to legally intervene when a parent refuses to accept the proposed medical treatment or is the damage done to make this decision? What kind of parental decisions are those that should not be tolerated? After a review of the theme, we conclude that if the decision of the parents regarding a medical decision is considered to be made with maleficence that is harmful to the child, it is justified that the State intervenes. Finally, we exposed four criteria that can be used in making decisions in complex cases where parents refuse treatment for their children.

Palabras llave : Best interest standard; Maleficence; Beneficence; Informed consent; Parental refusal; medical treatment; Parens patriae; Rights of the Child.

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