When Parents Refuse Consent to Treatment for Their Minor Children: Possible Legal Measures
When a minor patient does not possess the competency to consent to a particular medical treatment, his or her parents have right to make medical choice in the interest of their child. However, parents may refuse medical consent on the basis of their religious belief or other reasons. In Japan, in recent years, court cases in which parents’ denial of medical consent leads to harm the right and interest of child have been reported. These cases are referred as “medical neglect” and classified to one of the types of child abuse. Japanese Court practice has already developed a legal measure to intervene promptly. On the other hand, if Taiwanese courts face similar cases, there will be many obstacles which will make difficult for courts to intervene promptly and effectively. This article intends to introduce related discussions and court practice in Japan, further review possible measures and difficulties in Taiwanese law.