What Is the Legal Age of Consent for Medical Treatment in Australia

April 17, 2022 3:11 am Published by

Under the Juveniles (Property and Contracts) Act 1970 (NSW), a child aged 14 or over may consent to his or her medical or dental treatment, and the minor`s consent is effective in defending a claim for bodily harm or assault in connection with the treatment. The nsw act also allows parents of children under the age of 16 to validly consent to their child`s medical or dental treatment. An adult (person over 18 years of age) may give or refuse consent to medical treatment if: You can generally consent to your own medical treatment if you are 16 years of age or older. If you make a claim for medical negligence, you may be eligible for assistance through the Civil Legal Aid Program. The Consent to Medical Treatment and Palliative Care (SA) Act 1995 states that a person aged 16 and over may consent to medical and dental treatment “as validly and effectively as an adult”. If a doctor, assisted by another doctor, believes that a particular treatment is in the best interests of the child and that the child is “able to understand the nature, consequences and associated risks”, that child can effectively consent to his or her own treatment. South African law also provides that a child may receive medical treatment if his or her parents or guardians agree. This is a complex area of law and you should seek legal advice. The court may also set aside the wishes of a child with jurisdiction over Gillick if it considers that the proposed treatment or refusal of treatment is not in the best interests of the child.

Disclaimer: This site is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. If you have a legal problem, you should contact us or speak to a lawyer. See our full disclaimer. This is an inherent jurisdiction of the court to protect the person and property of those in the State of South Australia who are unable to take care of themselves. The court may annul the medical treatment decisions of the parent and the child. This power was used to authorize blood transfusions to a child against the will of the child`s parents and the child himself [see Children, Youth & Women`s Health Services Inc v YJL, MHL and TL (from his next friend) (2010) 107 SASR 343; [2010] SASC 175; Women`s and Children`s Health Network Inc v. JC, JC and KC (by their guardian) [2012] SASC 104]. In any decision made by the court, the best interests of the child must come first. Healthcare professionals only share information if it benefits your child`s treatment and care. Professionals will usually ask your child for permission to share information. If there are certain things your child doesn`t want to share, encourage them to tell health care professionals.

If your child has concerns about privacy, confidentiality, the type of treatment, the duration of treatment, or how they are treated, it is best for your child to raise them with the doctor at that time. The Supreme Court of each State/Territory has jurisdiction over “parens patriae” in respect of minors; and the Family Court has special social welfare provisions that allow it to make decisions on medical treatment/procedures for minors. (Parens patriae means that the Court has the power to act on behalf of a person who cannot act on his own behalf). You can apply to a court for a special medical procedure for a child if you: From the age of 14, your child can control what goes into this file and who has access to it. This record allows your child and their doctors, hospitals and other health professionals to view and share your child`s health information. Parents also cannot undergo legally prohibited treatment (e.B. Genital mutilation) or certain procedures or treatments that are considered “special” and require court approval. (See below) The Supreme Court may set aside the decision of the mature minor and/or his or her parent regarding medical treatment if it considers that the decision is not in the best interests of the child. A continuing power of attorney can authorize someone to make medical decisions about your disability (unable to) make a decision on your own.

Gillick`s jurisdiction and a child`s right to consent to or refuse health care are explained in more detail below. The refusal of life-saving treatment is also discussed here. Sharing your child`s health information In order for your child to receive the best possible health care, health professionals may need to share information with members of the treatment team. Some decisions regarding special medical procedures cannot be made by a parent or guardian or the child and must be made by a court or tribunal. Australian law requires that a child under the age of 18 is able to give effective consent to a medical procedure or treatment if he or she fully understands the nature and consequences of the proposed procedure, whether or not a parent consents. If the legal status of consent is unclear or there is a dispute over treatment, the court may make a decision based on the best interests of the child. If there is disagreement between you, your parents and your doctor about treatment, a court may have to decide what will happen. The court must consider what is in your best interest in its decision. Another person may consent to medical treatment on behalf of an adult if: The Consent to Medical Treatment and Palliative Care (SA) Act 1995 gives a child or his or her parents or guardians only the legal capacity to consent to the treatment.

Except in emergency situations where consent is not required, it is a question of whether the second step has taken place that a court must decide. Older children (or rather “mature minors”) may have enough understanding and intelligence to consent to health treatment themselves. This is sometimes referred to as the “Gillick skill.” The common law applies in Australian jurisdictions that have not expressly legislated on the issue of minors` consent to medical treatment. The common law position on the competence of a minor to consent to treatment was established by the decision of the English House of Lords in Gillick v West Norfolk and Wisbech Area Health Authority [1986] AC 112, which was approved by the High Court of Australia in Secretary, Department of Health and Community Services v JWB and SMB (Marion`s case) (1992) CLR 218. In gillick, it was found that a parent`s authority diminishes as their child becomes more and more competent. Gillick dictates that the right of parents to determine their child`s treatment ends as soon as a child under the age of 16 is able to fully understand the proposed medical treatment. Whether a particular child has the intelligence and understanding to give valid consent is a question of fact. Although Gillick believes that a minor who has a required level of understanding can consent to the treatment, this does not constitute a corresponding right to refuse treatment.

Therefore, a teenager who is competent according to the principles established by Gillick will generally not be able to refuse life-saving treatment if his parents are willing to accept it. Role of the courtsIn the Marion case, it was decided that the courts can exercise a general supervisory function in order to protect the best interests of the child. This guardianship jurisdiction allows the courts to annul parents who have refused treatment and to approve treatment based on the concept of “best interests”. In addition, courts are able to settle disputes over a child`s proposed medical treatment if there is a conflict between parents and children or in which parents, children and doctors are involved. ConclusionAs soon as a child reaches the age of 18, he is generally considered a fully competent and autonomous person. .

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