Refusal of Treatment by 16-Year-Old
Lancet. 1992 Jul 11; 340(8811): 108-109.
In London, the Court of Appeal, in an interim ruling on July 2, 1992, ordered that a 16-year-old girl with anorexia nervosa should be treated against her own wishes. Some may argue that this decision strikes a blow against "children's rights". There is, however, an equally persuasive argument that the most important right of such a child is not the adult right of autonomous choice, but the right to be protected until such time as she is mentally and emotionally capable of making adult decisions....It is very questionable whether J was in an emotional state to make decisions. Holding her up as an example of the danger of allowing full decision-making power to adolescents who might be entrusted with important choices would simply not be appropriate. It would be unfortunate if the Court of Appeal were to use this case to impose unnecessary restrictions on the law relating to the consent of minors.
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