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  5. Do my Parents Have to Attend my Consent to Treatment Session?
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  5. Do my Parents Have to Attend my Consent to Treatment Session?
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  5. Do my Parents Have to Attend my Consent to Treatment Session?

Do my Parents Have to Attend my Consent to Treatment Session?

Whether your parents or guardians need to attend the consent to treatment session with you can depend on several factors, including your age, your level of competence and understanding, and the legislation in your jurisdiction.

Common jurisdictions

The following is an overview of the legislation under some common jurisdictions.

United Kingdom

People aged 16 and over are entitled to consent to their own treatment, without the need for parental involvement.

Adolescents under the age of 16 can consent to their own treatment if they are deemed to possess sufficient intelligence, competence, and understanding to appreciate and evaluate what is involved in their treatment. The legal framework for this is Gillick competence. The degrees of competence and understanding required depend on the gravity of the decision.

Hence, if you are aged over 16 or if you are aged under 16 but are deemed to have Gillick competence, then you are legally entitled to consent to treatment without your parents being involved.

If, in your consent to treatment session, there are doubts about your capacity to consent, then it may be necessary to undertake a more thorough assessment of your competence and understanding, which may require involvement of your parents or guardians.

Singapore

Singapore has no statute law that defines the legal age to consent to medical treatment. Although it has not been specifically tested in Singapore Courts, it has largely been accepted that the Gillick competence applies in young persons.

Hence, if you are deemed to have the relevant competence and understanding, then you are legally entitled to consent to treatment without your parents being involved.

Australia

Generally, a person under the age of 18 may consent to medical treatment if medical professionals have formed the view that the person has sufficient competence and understanding to give valid consent to the treatment.

European Union

The law may vary across different states. Hence, whether parental involvement is required will depend on the legislation in your particular state.

The Oviedo Convention specifies that where, according to national law, a minor does not have the capacity to consent to an intervention, the intervention may be carried out only with the consent of parents who have custody of the minor. It also states that “the opinion of the minor shall be taken into consideration as an increasingly determining factor in proportion to his or her age and degree of maturity”. This means that in certain situations which take account of the nature and seriousness of the intervention as well as the minor’s age and ability to understand, the minor’s opinion should increasingly carry more weight in the final decision.

United States

The law may vary across different states. Hence, whether parental involvement is required will depend on the legislation in your particular state.

Even if your parents are not legally required to attend your consent to treatment session, it is worth considering whether involving them would be beneficial to you.

If your parents or guardians are supportive, having them attend the consent to treatment session can be beneficial for understanding the treatment process and expressing any concerns or questions.

If involving your parents or guardians could lead to an unsupportive or unsafe environment for you, it’s important to communicate this to your healthcare provider. They can discuss alternative arrangements for proceeding with the consent process.

Updated on March 25, 2024

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