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In re EG

549 N.E.2d 322 (1989)

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In re EG

Illinois Supreme Court

549 N.E.2d 322 (1989)

Facts

At age 17, EG (defendant) was diagnosed with a type of leukemia that required blood transfusions for survival. However, for religious reasons, EG and her mother (defendant) were both strongly opposed to EG receiving a blood transfusion even if it meant that EG would die. State officials (plaintiffs) filed a lawsuit accusing EG’s mother of neglect for refusing the potentially life-saving blood-transfusion treatment. Evidence was presented that EG was a very mature 17-year-old who possessed the judgment of someone 18 to 21 years of age. Despite EG’s maturity, the district court found that (1) EG’s mother had committed neglect and (2) the state’s interest in keeping EG alive meant appointing a guardian who would consent to the blood transfusions. EG and her mother appealed the district court’s rulings. The appellate court found that EG’s mother had committed neglect, but that, as a mature minor, EG had a constitutional right to refuse medical care. The Illinois Supreme Court agreed to hear an appeal.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Ryan, J.)

Dissent (Ward, J.)

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