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2013

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Medical Paternalism And The Rule Of Law: A Reply To Dr. Relman, Charles Baron Aug 2013

Medical Paternalism And The Rule Of Law: A Reply To Dr. Relman, Charles Baron

Charles H. Baron

In this Article, Professor Baron challenges the position taken recently by Dr. Arnold Relman in this journal that the 1977 Saikewicz decision of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts was incorrect in calling for routine judicial resolution of decisions whether to provide life-prolonging treatment to terminally ill incompetent patients. First, Professor Baron argues that Dr. Relman's position that doctors should make such decisions is based upon an outmoded, paternalistic view of the doctor-patient relationship. Second, he points out the importance of guaranteeing to such decisions the special qualities of process which characterize decision making by courts and which are not …