AMA Journal of Ethics®

Illuminating the art of medicine

Journal of Ethics Header

AMA Journal of Ethics®

Illuminating the art of medicine

Virtual Mentor. October 2006, Volume 8, Number 10

Ethics Poll

Medical Decision Making by Parents: Limited or Unlimited?

The Ethics Poll is a snapshot of the opinions of interested readers.

1. Immunizations should be required for all school-age children unless they pose medical risk for the child. Exemptions should not be allowed on the basis of a parent's religious or philosophical disagreement with immunization.
2. In general, parents should make decisions about health care for their minor children. Medical professionals should intervene:
3. U.S. law allows states to override parents' religious objections and impose standard medical treatment for a child with life-threatening illness if the standard treatment has at least a 50-50 chance of saving the child's life.
Poll results reflect the opinions of visitors to the site who voluntarily answer the poll questions. Those visitors do not represent a random sample of Virtual Mentor readers. The viewpoints expressed on this site are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the AMA.