Can minors decide what is in their interest, or do parents know better? While Art.1 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child defines children as “every human being below the age of 18 years”, most children are in a position to make decisions about their health earlier. In medical law cases, this can lead to difficult assessments of decision-making abilities. The “best interest” of the child (Art. 3 CRC) is usually what all parties involved strive for. However, the definition of “best interest” can be contentious, so that the courts have to balance all conflicting interests. This article aims to analyse the influence of the different parties involved in competing rights claims concerning children’s health. The following ‘best interest’ test will be used as a framework: D = ax + by + cz (D: judge’s decision, x: child’s preference, y: parents’ wishes and z: State’s interest).
The recent ruling of the European Court of Human Rights in A.P., Garçon and Nicot v. France  (Nos. 79885/12, 52471/13 and 5296/130) constitutes an important decision for trans[i] rights in many ways. The ECtHR determined that France’s requirement of sterilisation, applying to persons wishing to legally change their names and gender on their birth certificate to reflect their gender identity, is a violation of the right to privacy under Article 8 of the European Convention of Human Rights. The case was the result of three joined applications contesting various provisions of French law regarding changes of one’s legal gender.