Teenager granted the right to “die with dignity”

Over here in the UK the current big front-page story is Hannah Jones, a thirteen-year-old girl who has a hole in her heart as a result of childhood leukaemia medication. The actual news is the about-face made by her local healthcare authority, which was planning to force her to have a heart transplant against her own wishes; intervention by a child protection officer encouraged them to drop their court case and let Hannah stay with her family as she wished.

The “right to die” is still a very contentious issue (and will doubtless remain one for some time to come) but Hannah’s case is complicated by her age; I think it’s a safe assumption that had her parents not agreed with her decision, things might have gone very differently. Which brings us to the perennial question – at what age should the law permit you to make life-changing decisions like this for yourself? And to what degree should the religious beliefs of your family be taken into account, if at all?

2 thoughts on “Teenager granted the right to “die with dignity””

  1. What really offends me is the level of exhibitionist exposure the media generated. This should have been a private matter. We truly still inhabit a dark age of prurience, gloating, arrogance, rudeness, intolerance as well as beligerence.

  2. True; we Brits don’t have a monopoly on righteous indignation and the urge to tell others they should do what we say, but it often feels like it.

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