How Much Autonomy Should A Minor Have? Essay

1918 Words 8 Pages
How much autonomy should a minor have? Should their refusal of life-saving treatment be granted by physicians? These questions arise from the case of Emma Ogden, a twelve year old girl who lived with a congenital heart defect which led to many operations and repeated visits to the hospital. When Dr. Abdul Hamid, the transplant surgeon, told Emma and her parents that her best option would be getting a heart transplant and that even then, her prognosis was grim, she refused. Emma researched her condition and the possible outcomes of heart transplants significantly, and discussed it with her parents. Reluctantly, they came to agree with her as well, because they did not want their daughter to suffer anymore. When they informed the doctor that Emma would not be receiving the transplant, he was blown away because he had never seen someone so young refuse a chance at a longer life. (English, Haddad, and Veatch, 2015, 111-112) Emma gave her decision significant thought. She researched her condition and the treatment options, and she knew that her chance of survival was very low. After much research on congenital heart defects, and after battling this condition for the entirety of her short life, she knew almost everything there was to know about her condition, and she had made up her mind. Her parents eventually agreed wither her position too, which should constitute as her surrogate giving the refusal for treatment. This is most often accepted by medical practitioner and the…

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