Thursday, April 29, 2021
Finn Keyes (Trinity College), Children's Rights and End of Life Decision-Making: In the Matter of JJ, Irish Judicial Studies Journal
This article analyses the decision of the Supreme Court in In the Matter of JJ  IESC 1. The article observes that this case differs from previous end-of-life cases in that it countenances a mixture of acts and omissions leading to the death of the patient. It outlines the legal and ethical issues with respect to acts and omissions in end-of-life decision-making and analyses how the Court engaged with those issues. The article also observes that the decision provides the most authoritative guidance yet as to the effect of the Children's Rights Referendum on children's rights and the threshold for State intervention for failure of parental duty. It notes that while previous commentary had suggested that Art. 42A would not have a significant impact on the threshold for State intervention, the decision in Re JJ clearly signals that the Referendum has effected a significant change in the law in this regard.