The Permissibility of Using Coercion in Pediatric Healthcare

Diana Lutfi : Interdisciplinary Studies

Diana Lutfi Scholar in Action photo
Mentor: Jodi Halpern, Joint Medical Program, Public Health

Why is causing “harm” ethically justifiable? Diana has always been perplexed that a rational individual would compromise his/her bodily comfort in order to prolong life and create a culture where other people are forced to do the same for the sake of “health”. Although patient autonomy is legally protected in western healthcare institutions, individuals that are considered “minors” are not afforded these same autonomy rights. They are, instead, given rights of protection of best interest. This, however, can often create a dilemma when healthcare providers and legal guardians disagree about what constitutes the minor’s best interest. In her research, Diana will use qualitative analysis to examine this dilemma from the social, legal, and ethical standpoints of vaccine and chemotherapy refusals.