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The Children Act on the Big Screen

View profile for Antonia Kirby
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A few years ago, I was very excited to read The Children Act by Ian McEwan – one of my favourite authors and a brilliant read. You can imagine my excitement when I discovered it had been grasped by screenwriters and transformed into a film.

The story follows a High Court Judge, Lady Justice Maye, who has the unenviable job of making impossibly difficult, necessary and life altering decisions for children, where there is a dispute. The subject child that the story closely follows is a 17 year old Jehovah’s Witness, Adam, suffering from Leukaemia and who is refusing a life saving blood transfusion on the basis of his religious beliefs. The hospital asks the Court for permission to administer the treatment. As he is not yet 18, he is not yet legally autonomous and so the Court must decide.

The film does a fantastic job of elucidating the very fine balance that the family Court have to strike daily; it is an environment where ethics, morals, law and welfare forcefully collide.

Whilst of course somewhat dramatized for the big screen, the film is a clever and fairly accurate example of the kind of waters we as lawyers have to navigate, and more so that Judges have to captain on a daily basis.

If you find yourself in what seems to be an impossibly difficult situation in your own family matters, be that a medical situation, an international abduction or something else then please get in touch and we will arrange for you to speak with one of our highly specialised, and nationally acclaimed children team.

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