chapter  3
14 Pages


This chapter will examine the circumstances where children are competent to consent to treatment and where parents may consent on behalf of children, and the problems which arise when there is a conflict between the views of parents and children or between parents and medical staff. The area of refusal of treatment causes difficulties for the law, particularly in determining the extent to which children may refuse treatment where that refusal may result in serious harm or death. Applications may be made to the court under s 8 of the Children Act 1989 for a specific issue order; or the child (if under 18) may be made a ward of court; or the court may use its inherent power under its parens patriae jurisdiction to make decisions for a child.