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New McEwan novel explores medicine and religion

1 of 1 Parents deny their son's right to medical treatment in Ian McEwan's new novel, due in September.
Parents deny their son's right to medical treatment in Ian McEwan's new novel, due in September.

Ian McEwan's new novel, The Children Act, concerns a couple refusing medical treatment for their son because to their religious beliefs.  

The author's 16th novel will be published on September 4 and centres on the female High Court judge presiding over the legal case involving the two parents.

Speaking at the Oxford Literary Festival in March, McEwan described the denial of medical help on religious grounds as "utterly perverse and inhumane."

The Telegraph reported him as saying, "the secular mind seems far superior in making reasonable judgement . . . there's an almost consumerist notion that the pursuit of individual happiness cuts across the interests of children."

McEwan said that the UK's 1989 Children Act, which declares the child's welfare as being of "paramount consideration" in such court cases, was a "remarkable and civilised piece of legislation."

The 65-year-old novelist won the Booker Prize in 1998 for Amsterdam, the story of two friends who conspire to murder each other. He has been named on the shortlist four times for the prize since then.

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