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Social Media: The Unnamed Plaintiff

  • Bernadette J. Richards
Recent Developments

A recent development of a different kind than usually covered here is the emergent voice of social media and social activism and the role it plays in the judicial process where there is conflict over the treatment of a child. The legal position is that, at all times, the best interests of the child must be the focus of all debate but attention is increasingly being diverted to the management of large scale social media campaigns and the clamor of voices (including those of the President of the United States, the Pope, and the Italian Ambassador to the United Kingdom). The result being that the realities of the condition of the vulnerable child at the heart of the debate pales in the face of emotional rhetoric.

The past two years have provided us with three clear examples of how the tragedy of a dying child can create conflict between parents and treating teams, how this conflict can bleed into social media and finally, how that dialogue can then enter the courtroom. The names of these...

Keywords

Best interests Judicial process Decision-making Social media 

References

  1. Hammond-Browning, N. 2017. When doctors and parents don’t agree: The story of Charlie Gard. Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 14(4): 461–468.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  2. Okninski, M. 2016. Determining a child’s best interests when parents refuse medical treatment—CAHS v Kiszko & Anor [2016] FCWA. Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 13(3): 364–368.Google Scholar
  3. Okninski, M., and B. Richards. 2016. Regulating “quack” medicine and decision-making for children re-visited. Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 13(4): 467–471.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. ———, 2017. Considering professional misconduct and best interests of a child (palliative orders). Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 14(1): 19–22.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Journal of Bioethical Inquiry Pty Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Law SchoolUniversity of AdelaideAdelaideAustralia

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