Parham Supreme Court Case Study

529 Words 3 Pages
The issues examined by the District Court were whether a child’s liberty and due process rights were violated upon voluntary hospitalization into a mental health treatment. The Court also looked at the parent’s interest and whether the child’s interest was protected under the state hospital’s procedural approach in determining the child’s mental health and needs. The Court held that the Georgia statutory procedure for committing a minor to a mental health facility was unconstitutional because it violated the due process rights of the minor afforded by the Fourteenth Amendment. The Court also held that, absent of any abuse or neglect, the law provides parents a significant role in making decisions however it is not absolute. Since no statewide regulation exists for hospital intake and examination, hospitals have differing procedural processes. The Court held that the commitment decisions of hospital staff were too subjective and not adequate enough to protect the child’s liberty interest. It was further recommended that a “neutral factfinder” be the final judgment regarding the institutionalization of a child with periodic follow-up …show more content…
I particularly did not agree with the assumption that it is inconceivable that a parent would attempt to commit his/her child through deceitful intent, specifically in situations whereby the child has a severe disability. Although there is the inherent theory that biological parents will be concerned for and care for their child’s well-being, unfortunately there is a population that does not. Also, with regard to the medically trained staff, the court addressed their ability to sift through conflicting stories or underlying conflict when making informed decisions on behalf of the child, but did not speak to the larger interest that stems from the overwhelming number of situations these individuals encounter resulting in the increased possibility of

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