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Before TACHA, ALARCÓN,*fn1 and TYMKOVICH, Circuit Judges.

There is perhaps no more delicate constitutional barrier protecting individual freedom from governmental interference than that which protects against state interference with parental autonomy. The Supreme Court has long recognized that “[t]he child is not the mere creature of the state,” Pierce v. Society of Sisters, 268 U.S. 510, 535 (1925), and that “the custody, care and nurture of the child reside first in the parents, whose primary function and freedom include preparation for obligations the state can neither supply nor hinder.” Prince v. Massachusetts, 321 U.S. 158, 166 (1944). It is also well- settled, however, that “[a] democratic society rests for its continuance upon the healthy, well-rounded growth of young people into full maturity,” and that states “may secure this against impeding restraints and dangers within a broad range of selection.” Id. at 168. Because of the importance of parental rights and the concomitant interest of the state in the health and safety of minor children within its borders, the intersection of individual freedom and state authority is always difficult to traverse when a child’s life is at stake. This case arises at this difficult constitutional intersection and involves both parents and state actors who genuinely sought to do what they believed was best for a child who was tragically stricken with a life-threatening illness. We have jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1291, and for the reasons discussed below we REVERSE in part and AFFIRM in part the decision of the district court.

 
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