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Droits des enfants au XXe siècle

 | 
David Niget
, 
Yves Denéchère

Troisième partie. Protection et soin

The Historical Construction of Medical Neglect in the United States (1900-1930)

Lynne Curry

Abstract

Quand la négligence médicale devient-elle un crime ? Quand l’incapacité des adultes à remplir leur rôle de soin devient-elle une erreur si grave que l’État doive la sanctionner ? Quand le refus de prise en charge médicale d’un enfant est-il considéré comme une forme authentique d’expression de la foi, protégée par la Constitution au titre de la liberté religieuse ? Les procès qui eurent lieu aux États-Unis à compter de 1901, intentés à des parents auteurs de négligences médicales pour des raisons religieuses, ont mis le doigt de manière urgente et concrète sur ces questions abstraites.

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Estratto del testo

Do children have a right to medical care? Do parents have a legal duty to provide it to them? If so, what parental actions satisfy such an obligation? When new medical therapies emerge, are parents legally required to seek them for their children? Do children’s rights to receive medical care trump parents’ rights to refuse it when such a denial represents a central tenet of their religious faith? In the United States, such complex and difficult questions first emerged at the turn of the twentieth century when followers of several new religions rejected mainstream medicine in favor of metaphysical healing practices, including prayer and the channeling of divine healing power through laying hands on the body of the afflicted. Church members soon faced legal difficulties for violations such as failing to report contagious diseases to public health officials and practicing medicine without a license. But in 1901, J. Luther Pierson of White Plains, New York became the first parent in the...

Autore

Professeure à l’Eastern Illinois University, où elle enseigne depuis 1996. Elle est docteure de l’University of Illinois à Urbana-Champaign. Ses recherches et publications se situent au croisement de l’histoire du droit et de l’histoire de la médecine aux États-Unis, avec un intérêt particulier pour la santé de l’enfant au regard du droit. Parmi ses publications, on compte : « “Special relationships” : the State, Social Workers, and Abused Children in the United States, 1950-1990 », inSchumann D. (ed), Raising Citizens in the « Century of the Child » : Child-rearing and Education in the United States and Central Europe in the 20th century (2010) ; The De Shaney Case : Children’s Rights, Family Privacy, and the Dilemma of State Intervention (2007) ; The Human Body on Trial : A Sourcebook with Cases, Law, and Documents (2004) ; et Modern Mothers in the Heartland : Gender, Health, and Progress in Illinois, 1900-1930 (1999).

© Presses universitaires de Rennes, 2015

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