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NCJ Number: 68679 Find in a Library
Title: LAW OF OMISSIONS AND NEGLECT OF CHILDREN
Journal: CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT  Volume:2  Issue:2  Dated:(1978)  Pages:79-88
Author(s): W M EVERS
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 10
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THIS ESSAY EXAMINES THE QUESTION OF WHETHER THERE SHOULD BE AN ENFORCED LEGAL DUTY OF PARENTS TO SUPPORT THEIR MINOR CHILDREN.
Abstract: IN ANGLO-AMERICAN LAW, NEGLECT OF FOUR TYPES OF DUTIES IS PUNISHED: DUTY TO HELP THE GOVERNMENT, OCCUPATIONAL STATUS-BASED DUTIES, DUTIES ARISING FROM CREATION OF PERIL, AND CONTRACTUAL DUTIES. DUTY TO HELP THE GOVERNMENT DOES NOT APPLY TO PARENTAL DUTIES. JUSTIFICATIONS FOR PARENT'S DUTY TO SUPPORT A CHILD RARELY DEPEND ON THE STATUS RELATIONSHIP. MODERN ETHICAL THOUGHT REJECTS STATUS-BASED LEGAL DUTIES BECAUSE THEY OFTEN CONTRADICT CAUSALITY AND OFTEN FREEZE LEGAL RIGHTS AND DUTIES IN TRADITIONAL AND OFTEN ILLOGICAL CATEGORIES. THE DUTY TO AID THE IMPERILED DOES NOT HAVE THE PROPERTY OF UNIVERSALITY WHICH LEGITIMATE LEGAL DUTIES, SUCH AS THE DUTY NOT TO ASSAULT, HAVE. CHARITABLE BEHAVIOR TO AID THE IMPERILED DIFFERS FROM JUSTICE. IN THE CASE OF ABORTION, THE WOMAN HOLDS VALID TITLE TO HER OWN BODY AND HAS NOT TRANSFERRED TITLE TO SUPPORTIVE NOURISHMENT TO THE FETUS. ANGLO-AMERICAN LAW HAS NOT RECOGNIZED A GENERAL DUTY TO AID THE IMPERILED. MOREOVER, ABANDONMENT OF A RESCUE EFFORT SIMILARLY DOES NOT VIOLATE ANYONE'S RIGHTS. THE FOURTH LEGAL DUTY, CONTRACTUAL OBLIGATIONS, APPLIES ONLY TO SITUATIONS IN WHICH TRANSFERS OF PROPERTY TITLE HAVE BEEN ARRANGED. IN RELATION TO THE ABORTION ISSUE, IN A NONSLAVE SOCIETY, ONE CANNOT PROPERLY GIVE UP CONTROL OF ONE'S BODY TO OTHERS VIA CONTRACT. SIMILARLY, PARENTS' RIGHTS TO DISPOSE OF THEIR SERVICES RULE OUT THE OBLIGATION TO SUPPORT A CHILD. THE ESSAY CONCLUDES THAT PARENTAL OMISSIONS IN THE CASES OF ABORTION AND CHILD NEGLECT VIOLATE NO RIGHTS. PARENTS HAVE A RIGHT TO INITIAL CUSTODY, BUT IF THEY PHYSICALLY ABUSE OR ABANDON A CHILD THEY CANNOT PREVENT AN OUTSIDER FROM TAKING ON SUPPORT OF THE CHILD. PARENTS DO NOT, HOWEVER, HAVE AN ENFORCED LEGAL DUTY TO SUPPORT THEIR MINOR CHILDREN. A REFERENCE LIST OF 47 PUBLICATIONS IS INCLUDED. (CFW)
Index Term(s): Abortion; Child abuse; Juvenile dependency and neglect; Parental rights; Rights of minors
Note: THIS ARTICLE ORIGINALLY APPEARED IN JOURNAL OF LIBERTARIAN STUDIES, V 2, N 1 (1978), P 1-10
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=68679

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