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Children and Young People » Limits of Child’s Consent / Refusal

Guidelines and Policies

Child Protection Roles and Responsibilities NSW
NSW Health
Outlines roles and responsibilities in relation to the safety, health and wellbeing of children and young people and provides practical information to assist workers to identify and respond to children and young people at risk of harm. This includes how to identify child abuse, neglect, domestic violence, sexual abuse, physical abuse and psychological harm; and when and how to make a report to the DoCS Helpline, to provide services to children and young people and to provide information to the Department of Community Services as required under the Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998.

Guardianship Tribunal information: special medical treatment for people under 16 years NSW
NSW Guardianship Tribunal
The Tribunal’s consent is necessary for special medical treatment for a person under 16 years. This document outlines the process and requirements.

Gillick Competence and the Termination of Pregnancy: A commentary on the challenge to the Department of Health’s guidance on confidentiality in dealing with adolescents requesting termination of pregnancy
Charles Foster and the UK Clinical Ethics Network


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.


Docs v Y [1999] NSWSC 644 NSW
Doctors applied for a young anorexic girl to be returned to hospital for treatment despite the wishes of both the young girl and the parents. Court exercising parens patriae jurisdiction and declaring the patient a ward of the state.

Re W (a minor) (Consent to medical treatment) [1993] 1 Family Law Reports 1 UK
Treatment of a 16 year old girl with anorexia nervosa against her will. Patient was not considered competent, due to the influence of anorexia nervosa on her state of mind, to refuse the treatment.

Royal Alexandra Hospital of Children v J and Ors [2005] NSWSC 465

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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