Flashcards in Consent - Children and Adolescents Deck (6)
What is the definition of a child?
A person is a child or minor by law until age of 18 or unless he or she marries.
In NSW - 14; SA - 16
Outline the requirements of the Gillick competency test.
- Cases by cases basis with particular reference to the child's maturity and understanding of the proposed treatment.
- Child must understand the medical issues - the more complex the procedure is - the harder it will be for the child to show the he or she is competent.
- If the child's competence fluctuates - he/she should be treated as incompetent.
A Gillick competent child's consent would then override the opinion of a parent and you are legally bound to maintain the child's confidentiality. This consent can be overriden by a court order if the court believes that it is in the child's best interests.
How does Gillick competency stand with the refusal of treatment?
While Gillick enables mature minors to consent to medical treatment, the courts have been reluctant to give a mature minor the right to refuse healthcare.
This is a double standard where a mature minor's autonomy is respected with respect to consent to treatment, but not when it comes to refusing treatment.
This stands at odds with competent adults who may refuse treatment even if it means their death.
If a child doesn't have a Gillick standard of competence, how do they consent to treatments?
These decisions will ordinarily be made by their parents.
Common law recognises parents as the natural guardians of their children - it places upon them a duty to act in accordance with the welfare of their children
What are the restrictions that parents can consent to, or refuse, in relation to medical treatment?
Non-therapeutic procedures, organ donation and gender reassignment fall outside the scope of parental consent. A court authorisation should be obtained to proceed with such procedures.
Likewise, where a parent's refusal of treatment is considered by the child's doctor as against the best interests of the child, the doctor can make an application to the Children's Court or Supreme Court in their state, or the Family Court to authorise the procedure.