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Skeleton Keys to Hospital Doors: Adolescent Adults who Refuse Life-Sustaining Medical Treatment

Cave, Emma; Cave, Hannah

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Authors



Abstract

We consider how the sufficiency of young adults’ autonomy is judged in light of biological, social and psychological evidence that adolescence can continue into the mid 20s. Until then, adolescent adults are prone to developmental immaturity which can affect risk taking, impulsivity, and independence in decision making. Some areas of law are starting to accommodate the impacts of adolescence into adulthood, and this article considers how they do so and whether and if so how the law relating to medical treatment refusals in England and Wales might similarly adapt. We argue that the right to full decision-making about medical treatment refusals at 18 based on the adult status of the individual should accommodate greater sensitivity to individual developmental attributes and set out three ways in which that might be achieved.

Citation

Cave, E., & Cave, H. (2023). Skeleton Keys to Hospital Doors: Adolescent Adults who Refuse Life-Sustaining Medical Treatment. Modern Law Review, 86(4), 984-1010. https://doi.org/10.1111/1468-2230.12798

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jan 10, 2023
Online Publication Date Mar 2, 2023
Publication Date 2023-07
Deposit Date Jan 10, 2023
Publicly Available Date Mar 3, 2023
Journal Modern Law Review
Print ISSN 0026-7961
Electronic ISSN 1468-2230
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 86
Issue 4
Pages 984-1010
DOI https://doi.org/10.1111/1468-2230.12798
Public URL https://durham-repository.worktribe.com/output/1185593

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Published Journal Article (Early View) (279 Kb)
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Publisher Licence URL
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Copyright Statement
Early View © 2023 The Authors. The Modern Law Review published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Modern Law Review Limited.

This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.





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