Consent in children

Current Opinion in Psychiatry 11:389-393 (1998)
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Children and young people under 18 years old should no longer be regarded as incompetent to give or withhold consent in decisions involving their health care, Recent research suggests a functional test of cognitive and emotional maturity, rather than a strict age cut-off point. However, it is often difficult to implement these recommendations in practice, not least because the law is, if anything, increasingly 'hard-line' about children's autonomy.

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Donna Dickenson
Birkbeck, University of London


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