Letter: A 16-year-old's right to choose

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The Independent Online
Sir: I am writing about the treatment of the young anorexic woman known as 'J', who has been front-page news during the past few days. 'J' is a 16-year-old young woman and, therefore, according to the law, she is legally allowed to move out of home, become employed, and, with parental permission, get married. However, she is unable to vote and, it appears, make any important decisions concerning her own future.

As a fellow 16-year-old, I think that this is wrong. If 'J' wishes to end her life in this way then she has obviously thought it over a great deal, otherwise she would not now have gone to such lengths to do so and she is adult enough to make the decision. It is nobody else's business.

Everybody should have the right to choose what is to become of him- or herself and in this way 'J' should be granted her rights too. If the courts decide what is to happen to her, then when she has completed the trek back to recovery, which was not her own decision, isn't she more likely to go elsewhere and repeat the procedure undisturbed?

I hope that in the future the 'adults' will see where their faults in the laws and practices lie and that they are capable of rectifying them.

Yours faithfully,

TABBY PATTERSON

Amersham, Buckinghamshire

30 June

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