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Consent for the examination or treatment of teenagers

Lookup NU author(s): Reverend Bryan Vernon


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Examination and treatment of any patient requires their consent. This may be verbal or written and involves giving adequate information and ensuring that this is understood. The patient must consent freely, may withdraw consent at any time, and should be competent. At 6 young people are competent to consent, but their refusal of treatment maybe overridden by their parents or the courts until they are 18. Below 16, young people may be competent, and this is a judgement for the clinician to make using recognized criteria. Any treatment should be in the best interests of a young person. Teenagers value honesty and appreciate involvement in decisions about their care. There is a balance between empowering young people to make adult decisions and protecting them. It is good practice to offer to see young people and their parents separately. There is scope for honest disagreement in applying these principles. © 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Vernon B; Welbury J

Publication type: Review

Publication status: Published

Journal: Current Paediatrics

Year: 2002

Volume: 12

Issue: 6

Pages: 458-462

ISSN (print): 0957-5839

ISSN (electronic):


DOI: 10.1054/cupe.2002.0332