Opinion Colum Kenny

Saturday 16 December 2017

Colum Kenny: Life or death - when parents don't get to choose for their child

The ethical issues in the heartbreaking SR case were dealt with in a calm, sensitive way, writes Colum Kenny

His parents do not agree that their young son has to die. Using the internet, his father has found a doctor who will treat the boy for $30,000 on a Caribbean island.

The boy's dad has been clinging to hope that his severely brain-damaged son, aged six, might somehow yet have a life worth living.

Last week, the Irish High Court disagreed. Its president, Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns, ruled that SR (as he was identified in court) should not be resuscitated in the event of an acute deterioration requiring invasive treatment where medical advice dictates that not resuscitating SR is in the child's own best interests. SR can be left to die. His parents do not get to decide what is in his best interest.

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