Bill seeks to lower medical age of consent
The Gibraltar Government has published draft legislation to lower the age of consent for medical treatment to 16 years.
If approved, it would mean teenagers aged 16 and above would be able to independently make their own decisions in regards to their health.
Where a minor has given an effective consent to any treatment, it shall not be necessary to obtain any consent from his parent or guardian, the legislation states.
The Bill seeks to amend the Children Act 2009 and covers surgical, medical and dental treatment.
The legislation will in fact return the medical age of consent to what it was prior to the introduction of the Children Act 2009. It will also bring Gibraltar back in line with the UK’s position on this issue.
“The question of whether a child is competent to consent is also a matter on which there is case law including the leading case of Gillick,” a government spokesman said.
“This case changed the presumption at common law that a child lacked legal capacity to give valid consent until he attained a particular age and endorsed the rights of the ‘mature minor’ to consent to his or her own medical treatment.”
The law would also include any procedure undertaken for the purpose of diagnosis and the administration of anaesthetic.
The Bill has yet to be debated and passed by the Gibraltar Parliament.