The plight of Charlie Gard and his family leaves many wondering how/whether we should fight to hang on to somebody we love when their life may have become burdensome to them. What many do not understand is how/why the courts take the decisions that they do. Interested persons, including hospitals, can seek to the use the inherent jurisdiction of the High Court to end treatment i.e. where a child’s interests seem contrary to continuing his/her life. Such application does not in itself breach the respondent's human rights. The role of the court is to exercise independent and objective judgment on the basis of all the evidence. The European Convention imposes a positive obligation to give life sustaining treatment, but does not impose an absolute obligation to treat if medical opinion is such that the treatment would be futile.
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