HL Deb 04 November 2002 vol 640 c56WA
Baroness Masham of Ilton

asked Her Majesty's Government:

In what situations a young person under 16 years can consent to medical treatment: (a) without parental involvement; and (h) with parental involvement. [HL 6135]

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath:

In the case of Gillick v West Norfolk and Wisbech Area Health Authority (1986) the court held that children who have sufficient understanding and intelligence to enable them to understand fully what is involved in a proposed intervention will also have the capacity to consent to that intervention. As the understanding required for different intervention will vary considerably, a child under 16 may have the capacity to consent to some interventions but not to others. It is good practice to encourage a child to inform his or her parents of a particular decision unless it would clearly not be in the chlid's best interests to do so.

When a child or young person lacks capacity, consent can be given on his or her behalf by one person with parental responsibility or by the court. The treatment or intervention must be in the young person's best interests.