Moreton, KL (2019) Reflecting On “Hannah’s Choice”: Using The Ethics Of Care To Justify Child Participation In End Of Life Decision-making. Medical Law Review, 28 (1). pp. 124-154. ISSN 1464-3790

[thumbnail of Main Document- Anonymous 2019 FINAL.docx] Text
Main Document- Anonymous 2019 FINAL.docx - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial.

Download (184kB)


It has been ten years since the case of Hannah Jones – the 12 year-old girl who was permitted to refuse a potentially life-saving heart transplant. In the past decade, there has been some progress within law and policy in respect of children’s participatory rights (UNCRC – Art 12), and a greater understanding of family centred decision-making. However, the courts still largely maintain their traditional reluctance to find children Gillick competent to refuse medical treatment. In this paper I revisit Hannah’s case through the narrative account provided by Hannah and her mother, to ascertain what lessons can be learnt. I use an Ethics of Care framework specially developed for children in mid-childhood, such as Hannah, to argue for more a creative and holistic approach to child decision-making in healthcare. I conclude that using traditional paradigms is untenable in the context of palliative care and at the end of life, and that the law should be able to accommodate greater, and even determinative, participation of children who are facing their own deaths.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: The final version of this accepted manuscript will be available online at
Uncontrolled Keywords: children, decision-making, end-of-life, ethics of care, gillick competence, treatment refusal
Subjects: K Law > K Law (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Law
Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 28 Mar 2019 08:26
Last Modified: 29 Jun 2021 01:30

Actions (login required)

View Item
View Item