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Institutional Commitments

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One of the most important responsibilities that parents have involves ensuring the healthy upbringing of their children. Indeed, parents generally control their children’s access to medical care, and this control rests on the assumption that parents can be expected to act on the best interest of their children when making decisions that involve their children’s welfare (see Levesque 2002). In some instances, however, there can be doubts, such as when parents seek to commit their children for care in mental health institutions. This doubt can be even greater when coupled with the assumption that those determining the need for hospitalization, typically psychiatrists, may not have the child’s welfare as their sole concern, that they may, for example, have financial interests at stake (see Weithorn 1988). The Supreme Court addressed this issue directly in Parham v. J.R. (1979), which focused on what process is constitutionally due to a minor child whose parents or guardian seek state...

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References

  • Levesque, R. J. R. (2002). Child maltreatment and the law: Foundations in science, policy and practice. Durham: Carolina Academic Press.

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  • Parham v. J.R. (1979). 442 U.S. 584.

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  • Weithorn, L. A. (1988). Mental hospitalization of troublesome youth: An analysis of skyrocketing admission rates. Stanford Law Review, 40 (3), 773–838.

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Correspondence to Roger J. R. Levesque .

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© 2011 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC

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Levesque, R.J.R. (2011). Institutional Commitments. In: Levesque, R.J.R. (eds) Encyclopedia of Adolescence. Springer, New York, NY. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-1695-2_747

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