According to the BBC news the judge in the Neon Roberts said doctors accepted that radiotherapy had side effects: it could slightly impair intellect and carried some risks of causing infertility but most children coped well – and there would be no quality of life at all if you were dead. At first this sounds very logical, but it seems to me that it reflects a very irrational view of life and death that has perhaps come to be accepted without thinking.
It assumes that there is no life after death, that the value of life is only the short period of life on earth, and it assumes that the only value in life is the quality of life of the individual.
This is a self-centred worldview, a Darwinian view that each individual is only important to himself and consequences for others are secondary. The essence of humanity is lost. All of Christ’s teaching about loving one’s neighbour is ignored.
If there is no life after death (the secular view) then a dead person no longer exists and it does not matter to them whether they are alive or dead. Almost all religions view our spiritual being as continuing to exist after physical death. If that is the case, then the quality of spiritual life continues after death, and again we should not fear death.
In each case, the impact of death is on those who remain behind; on those who miss the person who had died. That is indeed a serious impact, but I wonder if it is something that institutions such as courts are best placed to decide on – they are not the ones left to pick up the pieces.