The past and future of parental rights: politics, power, pluralism, and public health

36 Pages Posted: 3 Feb 2024

See all articles by Liz Tobin-Tyler

Liz Tobin-Tyler

Brown University - School of Public Health and Alpert Medical School

Date Written: December 31, 2023

Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic and growing political polarization have activated parental grievance against the government in recent years. Politicians have capitalized on this grievance by campaigning on, proposing, and passing legislation providing greater protections for parental rights in decision-making about health care and public education. This Article tracks the history of how courts have sought to balance parental rights with the public interest, and then explores contemporary controversies surrounding parental rights, including healthcare decision-making, public health mandates, public education, and the child welfare system. These controversies illuminate the incoherence in courts’, policy-makers’, and the general public’s framing of parental rights and demonstrates the need to identify shared values and promote eq- uity in order to effectively balance individual rights with the common good.

Keywords: parental rights, public health, legislation

Suggested Citation

Tobin-Tyler, Liz, The past and future of parental rights: politics, power, pluralism, and public health (December 31, 2023). Virginia Journal of Social Policy and the Law, Vol. 30, No. 3, 2023, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4714917

Liz Tobin-Tyler (Contact Author)

Brown University - School of Public Health and Alpert Medical School ( email )

Providence, RI 02912
United States

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