Victoria Gillick, consent and the rights of the child
A court case more than three decades ago helped to define the rights of children under 16 to decide their own treatment
One person who would probably not recognise themselves as establishing a right for children is Victoria Gillick, yet in relation to healthcare and treatment it is her that children can thank for the right to be involved in their own decision making.
In January 1982, Ms Gillick wrote to the Department of Health and Social Security seeking assurance that her four daughters, all under 16, would not be given contraceptive or abortion advice or treatment without her consent. This was in response to a change issued by the Department of Health and Social Security, which was to allow contraceptive advice and treatment to girls under 16.
The Department of...
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