Medical decision-making is one area where drawing and applying a single defining line between childhood and adulthood has proven difficult. Each society determines how it will allocate decision-making authority with respect to children. This article will address how such allocations have been developed in the United States and the United Kingdom. An analysis of the capacity of an adolescent to make decisions remains incomplete without some consideration of the role of parent(s) and of the government. It is precisely here that recent developments in the United Kingdom may provide helpful guidance in the United States.
Robert L. Stenger, Exclusive or Concurrent Competence to Make Medical Decisions for Adolescents in the United States and United Kingdom, 14 J.L. & Health 209 (1999-2000)