HC Deb 28 March 1960 vol 620 cc952-3
39. Dr. D. Johnson

asked the Minister of Health whether, in view of the breach of the long-established precedent that parents should be responsible for their children in all decisions concerning medical treatment which is involved in the action of the Sheffield Regional Board in establishing special juvenile courts in hospitals with powers to transfer responsibility to local authorities if parents refuse permission for an operation on a child, he will request the Board to postpone invitations to magistrates to set up such courts until the matter has been discussed on a national basis; and whether he will issue a White Paper with a view to promoting such discussion.

Mr. Walker-Smith

Whether the provisions of the Children and Young Persons Act, 1933, would apply to a case of this kind, and what would be the effect of any order made under them, are questions of law on which it would not be appropriate for me to express any opinion. Accordingly, I would not feel justified in intervening, and see no reason to issue a White Paper on the subject.

Mr. Johnson

May I ask my right hon. and learned Friend, however, what advice he has given to this regional hospital board in regard to Section 102 (1) of this Act, whereby parents are allowed. an appeal to quarter sessions in a case such as this, and whether or not, in his opinion, that does not completely invalidate the procedure the board project in these circumstances, and, accordingly, indicate that fresh amending legislation, or legislation, is necessary for anything of this nature?

Mr. Walker-Smith

No. I am sure that the: regional hospital board is aware of the provisions of Section 102 in regard to appeals. The regional hospital Board is not seeking the use of any new powers in this context but merely trying to ensure that where the existing procedure is applicable it should operate speedily.