Is the best interest standard good for pediatrics?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


We argue that the "best interest standard" for surrogate decision-making is problematic for a number of reasons. First, reliance on the best interest standard is subjective. Second, it leads to behavior that is intolerant and polarizing. Third, appeals to the best interest standard are often vague and indeterminate. After all, cases are usually controversial precisely because reasonable people disagree about what is or is not in a child's best interest. We then recommend that, instead of the best interest standard, parents should be held to a standard that we call the "not unreasonable" standard. By that standard, parents' decisions would be respected unless they were deemed unreasonable. This recommendation would allow a greater range for parental discretion than the best interest standard.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S121-S129
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2014


  • Best interest
  • Child
  • Ethics
  • Family
  • Law
  • Literature


Dive into the research topics of 'Is the best interest standard good for pediatrics?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this