Dr Imogen Goold delivered the 2019 Baron de Lancey lecture at the University of Cambridge on whether parents should have the final say on the medical treatment of their children.
If doctors believe that they might be able to save a dying child, should the parents have the freedom to pursue this treatment? If a court decides that the treatment is not in the child's best interests, should it have unlimited authority to intervene? When deciding what care a child receives, should the wishes of the parents be given any weight? These questions raise complex issues about the boundaries of court power, and how far the state can intervene in what might be considered private, family decisions. They demand we consider the extent to which we give parents the freedom to decide about their children and when this might yield to consideration about the child's welfare. Who knows best? The court? The doctors? The parents? In this talk, Dr Imogen Goold explore these and related questions about the scope of parental and judicial power.