Mature Minors, Medical Choice, and the Constitutional Right to Martyrdom

Note — Volume 102, Issue 5

102 Va. L. Rev. 1355
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Since the mid-twentieth century, the U.S. Supreme Court has acted to preserve and define civil rights. When states fail to protect the rights of minority groups, the courts step in by creating constitutional safeguards for minorities, juveniles, and religious objectors. In the context of juvenile rights, the Supreme Court has consistently relied on scientific data to define the rights attributed to people under the age of majority. Since the greater psychological community has accepted that a minor’s cognitive abilities reach a state of maturity around age sixteen, the Supreme Court may be poised to clear up a century-old controversy regarding a minor’s right of self-determination. This Note explores whether a minor can exercise her First Amendment Free Exercise rights to make medical treatment choices.

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  Volume 102 / Issue 5  

A Tribute to David Martin

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