17 Jan 2016

Health: At what age can you decide your medical treatment?

From The Weekend , 10:07 am on 17 January 2016

When is a young person old enough to determine their medical treatment, including refusing help that could extend their lives?

For the medical profession these are some of the hardest ethical decisions because they involve balancing the wishes of an informed and unwell adolescent against the possibility that they might be foregoing their best or only chance at having a future.

Professor John McMillan is the head of the Bioethics Centre at Otago University, while Janine Winters works with children in palliative care as an affiliate of the centre.