Gillick competent

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A condition used in English law that defines a level of competence, demonstrated by a child under the age of 16 years, to consent to treatment. Children under 16 can consent to treatment if they understand its nature, purpose, and hazards. That ability will vary with age, the child, and the nature of the treatment. To be able to consent, the child must understand the nature of the proposed treatment and fully understand and appreciate the consequences of the treatment, the alternatives, and the failure to treat. A dentist who judges the child to be ‘Gillick competent’ can disclose information to the parent only with the child's consent, regardless of parental responsibility. The name is derived from the name of the claimant in the case that established the principle (Gillick, 1985). The term Fraser competent is also used as an alternative term, after Lord Fraser who was the judge who ruled on the case.

Subjects: Dentistry.

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