In regards to yesterday's blood transfusion case, I have two questions.

1 - If this woman had been a Catholic, and had refused a medical procedure on the grounds that it violated her religious views, would it have been forced upon her?

2 - If she had been a man, would the Court have decided that his status as "parent" was the overriding factor?

I suspect in both cases the answer would be "no".

The second for me demonstrates the need for a certain amount of caution in the recent trend towards prioritisting "the best interests of the child" in every legal dispute. People do not cease to be individuals with their own needs and rights simply because they have children. It's often women who suffer when we forget that, as Article 41.2 of the 1937 Constitution demonstrates. A balance needs to be struck which respects, to the greatest degree possible, everybody's human rights - and I don't think it has been struck in this case. The patient's decision is not the one I would have made, but it's her body and she should have had the right to make it.

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