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Guidelines and Policies

A Question of Right Treatment The Family Court and Special Medical Procedures for Children – an introductory guide for use in Victoria – 1998 Victoria
Family Court of Australia
Provides guidance in Victoria on when court approval is necessary for special medical treatment.


Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998 s24 NSW
NSW Parliament
Requirements to notify the DG of children in need of protection. Consent to medical treatment by authorised personnel.


Department of Health and Community Services (NT) v JWB (Marion’s Case) (1992) 175 CLR 218 Cth
Parent’s authority is not absolute – they are required to act in the child’s best interests. Court held that parents cannot consent to a non-therapeutic procedure to sterilise their daughter who has an intellectual disability. Such a decision must be approved by the court.

Director General, Department of Family and Community Services; Re Vernon [2011] NSWSC 1222 NSW
The Director-General sought and was granted permission from the court to detain Thomas (autistic 13 year old child) indefinitely in a secure unit, and to restrain and medicate him as the circumstances may require.

Re Alexis [2011] NSWSC 1545 NSW
The court authorised the Director-General, Department of Family and Community Services, or the Director-General’s nominee, to detain Alexis (14 years old) at secure premises and to use reasonable force if necessary to detain her.

Re Helen [2010] NSWSC 1560 NSW
Authorised restraint of 14 year old diabetic child in residential care facilities.

Royal Alexandra Hospital of Children v J and Ors [2005] NSWSC 465 NSW
A 16 year old patient refused a blood transfusion on religious grounds. While at the age of 16 the patient can refuse treatment, the court, in its parens patriae jurisidiction, can consent to the treatment if it is in the patient’s best interest.

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