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It’s a matter of WHO DECIDES, because sometimes somebody has to. And, boiling it down even more it’s an issue of who is subservient to who m — state to citizens or citizens to state. My stance is that it’s both, depending on a particular situation, but when in doubt — it’s the citizens who voluntarily set up the state by giving up some of their freedoms to be able to achieve more freedoms and better life in a long run. And this is why they decide.

Yes, exactly. And those citizens happen to have titles such as “judge” and “court-appointed representative for the child”. In the UK, the state comprises the wishes of the people as expressed through the laws passed by their elected representatives, and then carried out through the courts. In the UK, those laws include the ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. That means that parents don’t get the last word on what happens to a child if it could conflict with those laws.

I don’t think there’s any part of US law which would elevate the wishes of parents over those of a child. Perhaps someone else knows this definitively.

The state can do anything with the child, the child can do virtually nothing about the state. That is the difference that matters.

The state can’t “do anything with the child”. This case was referred to the European Court of Human Rights, which is beyond the UK state, and which could have offered an alternative verdict which would have altered the treatment. At some point, though, if you have a situation where parents and carers fundamentally disagree, and each says that the other is harming the child, someone has to referee. The state, being impartial — interested only in the application of the law, which applies to everyone — thus has to take that role.

The reality is that it was Charlie’s illness which killed him, and would have killed him long before if doctors hadn’t put him on life support.

I simply don’t know what you mean by “the child can do virtually nothing about the state”. It’s a meaningless sentence in this context of a child unable to express desires.

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