Stretching the Boundaries of Parental Responsibility and New Legal Guidelines for Determination of Brain Death
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Stretching the Boundaries of Parental Responsibility: Re Carla (Medical procedure)  FamCA 7
A recent decision of the Family Court of Australia stretches the boundaries of parental authority and, arguably, fails to protect the interests of the child. At the outset of this discussion it is important to recognize the love and care that the parents of Carla (the child at the centre of this decision) have for her and their strong view that the treatment they are seeking is in her best interests. This overview in no way challenges that motive, rather it raises general questions regarding the broad legal principal that emerges from the decision.
Five-year-old Carla was born genetically male but with a sexual development disorder (17 beta hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase 3 deficiency) which meant that she was “under virilised for a genetic male” (). Carla did not have any female reproductive organs but was born with the external appearance of a female and with male gonads not contained...
KeywordsParental responsibility Best interests of the child Invasive treatment Gender Brain death End-of-life Uniform Determination of Death Act American Academy of Neurology
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