The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly

Volume 19, Issue 1, Spring 2019

K. Sarah Hoehn, MD
Pages 55-60

Conflict between Autonomy and Beneficence in Adolescent End-of-Life Decision Making

The ethics of adolescent decision making is a complicated mine­field with laws that vary from state to state. The case of a fourteen-year-old girl, who simultaneously was diagnosed with cancer and discovered she was pregnant, highlights several weaknesses in our current approach to adolescent decision making in the context of pregnancy. In addition, adolescents with life-limiting conditions face similar challenges that can be examined through the framework of Catholic doctrine.