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By Maya Sabatello

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What is the best balance when the interests of the parents and the child clash? When should states resort to their power as parens patriae and intervene in familial decision making on behalf of the child? Traditionally, parents in Western societies are perceived as the best guardians of their child. 77 The perception of the family as “the most fundamental unit in society”78 further consolidates the parents’ power of decision making on M. Okin (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1999), 103.

E. CONCLUSION Much has been said in the past few decades about the scientific revolution and its impact. Even more has been said, particularly following the experiences of World War II, about the need to prioritize the individual’s benefit over the collective good. The principlism approach and its guiding doctrine of informed consent evolved on this background. They aimed at ensuring individual’s autonomy, self-determination, and personal involvement in medical decision making. They also reflected the rise in the rights talk that took place since the mid-twentieth century.

A. Res. , 61st plenary meeting. N. GAOR Supp. (No. N. Doc. M. 1448 (1989), which emphasizes the family, as “the fundamental group of society and the natural environment for the growth and well-being of all its members and particularly children” and the importance of the tradition and the cultural surrounding of the child. 79 Patricia. A. King, “Treatment and Minors: Issues not Involving Lifesaving Treatment,” Journal of Family Law 23 (1984–85): 254. 80 See Gerlard Dworkin, “Consent, Representation and Proxy Consent,” in Who Speaks for the Child—The Problems of Proxy Consent, ed.

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