Just Care: A Relational Approach to Autonomy and Decision Making of Parents Committed to Religious or Indigenous Traditional Practices
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Hamilton Health Sciences Corp. v. D.H. and B. (R.) v. Children’s Aid Society of Metropolitan Toronto tell important stories about people and relationships—and about parenthood; autonomy; religious believers and cultural communities; and the role of the state in family, culture, and religion. Their narratives were influenced by liberalism and emphasize a degree of individualism that is incongruous given the subject matter of parent child relationships and their place within communities and the law. This thesis explores the application of relational theory and the integrated principles of justice and care to these issues. Ultimately, the stories these judicial opinions tell help to foster or undermine actual relationships, including between the law and other cultures. Legal actors persuaded of the inadequacy of such narratives are urged to find new ways of telling these stories and resolving the dilemmas they pose, and demonstrating thus the law’s capacity to be both just and caring.