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Competence » Minors

Legislation

Minors (Property and Contracts) Act 1970 NSW
NSW Parliament
Ability to consent to treatment for older children.

Toolkits and Protocols

Capacity Toolkit NSW
Attorney General
Provides an overview and checklist for assessing a person’s competence to make an advanced care directive or decisions about medical or dental treatment.

Consent for removal of Bone Marrow from a young child NSW
NSW Health
Consent requirements for bone marrow donation by a young child for a sick sibling. Includes limitations on who may receive the transplant and a consent form.

Guardianship Tribunal information: special medical treatment for people under 16 years NSW [PDF]
NSW Guardianship Tribunal

Cases

Department of Health and Community Services (NT) v JWB (Marion’s Case) (1992) 175 CLR 218 Cth
Case of a 14 year old girl with a severe intellectual disability. Her parents wished her to be sterilised. The court held that this was not a procedure that parents could consent to. Discusses the role of parents in consenting and refusing treatment and the assessment of competence in a minor.

Gillick v West Norfolk AHA
Question was whether a girl under age 16 could ask for and receive contraception without the consent of her parents. A child is considered capable of giving informed consent when he or she “achieves a sufficient understanding and intelligence to enable him or her to understand fully what is proposed.

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.

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