Bioethics Blogs

Missouri Hospital Seeks Consent to Stop Treatment for Brain Dead Child

This week, a Missouri appellate court determined that it, and not the Department of Social Services, had the power to make end-of-life medical treatment decisions for a child removed from its parents.  But it is puzzling why the case was ever brought in the first place, as there was no “decision” to be made.

“Baby was admitted to Children’s Hospital with severe neurological injury and signs of non-accidental trauma. Doctors later determined that she was brain-dead and requested a do-not-resuscitate (DNR) order.”

The court clarified that the court has the responsibility to make end-of-life medical decisions for children under its jurisdiction.  But when the child is dead, there are no “medical decisions” to be made.  

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.