Tma 02

Y032   TMA 02 Part 1

For this essay I have chosen the two topics that have interested me the most during Block 2. The first discipline is Law, Topic 4, ’Decision Making within the family’ and the second discipline is Childhood, Topic 5 'Attachments within the family’.
Firstly let us consider the aspect of decision making within the family from the concept of Law. In most circumstances a child will live in a home with at least one parent. This parent will generally have Parental Responsibility for this child. Having Parental Responsibility means that a parent has the right to make important decisions about their child’s life, especially in relation to where they reside, their education and their health care. Parents must ensure that their children are safe and cared for, fed and clothed.
Sometimes in childhood, medical interventions are necessary due to illness or injury. Young children do not have the mental capacity to give their consent for this treatment and the responsibility therefore falls on their parent/guardian to give consent. The age from which a child can give their own consent was fixed at 16 by The Family Law Act 1969. Following the case of Gillick v West Norfolk and Wisbech Health Authority 1986, The House of Lords set out a legal principle that should be applied to the medical treatment of children. They stated that children under 16 were competent to give their own consent providing they were mature enough to understand and were able to make their wishes and views known. This is known as ‘Gillick competency’.
If we look at the case study of Hannah Jones, a 13 year old who in 2008 was found to be Gillick competent and was able to make her own decision regarding her heart transplant, we can see that this would certainly impact on her relationship with her parents. Although it states her parents were supportive, I feel that it gives us an insight into how the relationship between parents and children change as a child develops mental...