Children's Health and the Law

  • pediatric research
  • shared decisionmaking
  • child obesity
  • duty to report
  • vaccine exemptions
  • mature minors
  • newborn genetic screening
  • adolescent decisionmaking
  • substance-exposed newborns
  • medical guardian
  • LGBT youth
  • medical neglect

Learn to:


  1. Identify and analyze common medical situations involving minors that may raise legal and ethical dilemmas

  2. Evaluate who has the authority to consent to health care for a minor in different situations

  3. Recognize situations in which health care providers should notify child protective services or seek judicial guidance

  4. Propose reforms to address current public health issues affecting minors


This course examines the law governing medical treatment of minors, with an emphasis on the tension between parental authority, the child’s needs and wishes, the duty of medical professionals to provide adequate care, and the state’s interest in protecting the child from harm. Topics covered include medical law and ethics issues including how to make decisions when there is disagreement about the appropriate course of treatment for a child, religious objections to treatment, medical neglect and medical child abuse, mental health and substance abuse treatment, reproductive healthcare, withholding or withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment, and public health issues affecting children.

Division of Online Learning

[email protected] | 973-642-8747 or 973-761-9000 ext. 8747