Children's Rights, Parents' Wishes and the State: The Medical Treatment of Children

06 MAR 2006

Ananda Hall, Fisher Meredith, Solicitors. Contests between parent and State over the medical treatment of children have been a recurring theme over the years. A series of cases, including the recent protracted dispute over the treatment of baby Charlotte Wyatt, have demonstrated the extraordinarily difficult issues raised for both parents and medical professionals. Parents rights in this context have, since Gillick, increasingly given way to competing considerations. The High Court in R (Axon) v Secretary of State for Health [2006] EWHC 37 (Admin)(Axon) was recently asked to re-examine the role to be played by parents in the context of advice and treatment in matters of sexual health for young people. This article reviews the Axon decision and reflects on what it says about the increasing social confusion over the modern role of the parent. See April [2006] Fam Law 317 for the full article.

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