In the case involving 16-year-old Mazeratti Mitchell, Delaware County Judge Mary Alice Brennan recently ruled that the teen, an injured wrestler from Chichester High School, will have to receive treatment from doctors. The judge's decision overrode the wishes of the teen's parents to have their son treated at home without surgery or the use of any drugs.
Brennan faxed an order to the doctors at Thomas Jefferson, which allows the hospital to continue with medical treatment and leaves the doctors to decide on "when and what" medication and treatment will be administered. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Brennan agreed that surgery was necessary for Mitchell to recover and said "that is what the judge ordered."
Mitchell suffered a spinal injury during a wrestling practice in January after he crashed head-on into another wrestler. He has been bedridden at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital since the incident, and doctors have said his spine needs to be stabilized with pins and plates for it to heal properly.
But Mazeratti Mitchell's parents argued that they should be permitted to treat their son with other alternative medicines and non-invasive techniques. Their attorney, Michael Nix, said he plans on appealing Judge Brennan's decision to Superior Court and has asked for a stay of the order.
Parents have a right to the direct care, control, and upbringing of their children while they are still minors, according to FindLaw. They also have the right to make various decisions on behalf of their child, including what medical treatment can be used. Although the state does not normally interfere with these decisions, courts can step in and overrule the choices of parents when the situation is extreme or life-threatening.
To learn more about your rights as a parent in a case like this, find a lawyer who can offer proper counsel and explain the legal options that may be available to you.
- Get In Touch With A Philadelphia Personal Injury Attorney (FindLaw)
- Parents Rights: The Mazeratti Mitchell Case (FindLaw's Philadelphia Personal Injury Law Blog)
- Rights and Responsibilities of Parents (FindLaw)