Ethics - Children

From CambridgeNotes

Children Act 1989: Child’s welfare is paramount

  • Parental responsibility: automatically to mother; to father if married at or since time of birth, or by agreement; others e.g. adoption acquired separately
    • Duty: to ensure essential medical assistance and adequate full time education
    • Right: make decisions on issues e.g. schooling
  • Specific issue order – order giving directions from court for specific question – when dispute about what to do
  • Emergency Protection order – a child at urgent risk is removed to a safe place
  • Child Assessment order – suspicion of harm, no evidence
  • Care order – local authority takes care if guardians can’t

Consent in children

  • 16-17y – Family Law Reform Act 1969
    • Presumed capacity unless shown otherwise
    • If they refuse consent, ≥1 parental responsibility or court can give consent in child’s best interests
  • <16y presumed not competent unless Gillick competent
    • Gillick competence is “sufficient understanding and intelligence to enable them to understand fully what is proposed”
    • Gillick competence same as 16-17y
  • <16y, not Gillick competent
    • ≥1 parental responsibility should give consent – legal obligation to act in child’s best interests
    • If no parent consent/refused – either treatment if urgent, or specific issue order (court decides)

Child abuse

  • Includes physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, and neglect; the prime responsibility it to the child