Way Too Much Going On Here, Mill Edition


In England, a judge who relied explicity on the writings of John Stuart Mill in his ruling granted an imprisoned mentally ill Jehovah’s Witness sex offender the right to refuse a blood transfusion after a suicide attempt.

The judge was told that [the prisoner] had been moved to hospital from prison after cutting his arm with a razor blade and opening an artery. Specialists said he had suffered significant blood loss and his haemoglobin had fallen to “an extremely life-threatening level”. They had advised a blood transfusion but the man, who had a “severe personality disorder”, refused blood products on the basis of his faith. Mr Justice Mostyn first referred to Mill’s thinking as he considered legal principles underlying the case.

What the judge did first was refer to Mill’s thinking. Of course. Just one very simple case for Mill’s “one very simple principle.” Details here and here.

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