The touching story of Hannah Jones, the 13 year old who has 'won' the right to refuse a potentially life saving operation, is heralding national cheers from pro-children's rights advocates! This mature and truly brave young lady has voiced her right of choice and the powers that be have listened....at least that's what we are led to believe by the media.
Yet, I question if this would have been the case had Hannah's [very supportive] mother disagreed with her daughter's wishes. Would Hannah's voice have been heard had her mother felt that she should have the op?
My gut reaction is that the answer would be no.....Hannah's voice, may have been listened to but as the medical guidelines called 'Gillick Competence' has a [get-out] clause that states their (the sick child's) decision can be overruled by “those with parental responsibility, if treating doctors believe that withholding consent may be detrimental to the patients well being”(MPS, 2008). Hence, are we hearing Hannah's voice only because her mum is willing to support her decision?