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Mason and McCall Smith's Law and Medical Ethics

Mason and McCall Smith's Law and Medical Ethics (12th edn)

Anne-Maree Farrell and Edward S. Dove
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date: 26 February 2024

p. 2499. Children and Consent to Medical Treatmentlocked

p. 2499. Children and Consent to Medical Treatmentlocked

  • A. M. FarrellA. M. FarrellChair of Medical Jurisprudence at the University of Edinburgh
  •  and E. S. DoveE. S. DoveReader in Health Law and Regulation at the University of Edinburgh

Abstract

This chapter examines the law involving capacity to consent to medical treatment on the part of children and young people. An overview is first provided of key legislation and the role of the courts in the area. Thereafter, the concept of Gillick competence is then examined. Post-Gillick case law is explored in select areas, including refusals of medical treatment, objections to treatment due to religious beliefs, other welfare considerations, gender identity, and the care of critically ill young children. The final section briefly reflects on the role of human rights in promoting the autonomy of children and young people in decision-making about their own health care and how this has been interpreted by the courts.

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