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A Gillick competent minor’s refusal to consent to medical treatment is not determinative (Re X (a child) (No 2) An NHS Trust v X)

Written by Claire Watson for Lexis®PSL on 01 February 2021.

Family analysis: The issue in Re X (a child) (No 2) An NHS Trust v X involved a challenge to the ‘conventional wisdom’ that no child has an absolute right to refuse medical treatment, even if the child is Gillick competent or, having reached the age of 16, is presumed to be Gillick competent pursuant to section 8 of the Family Law Reform Act 1969 (FLRA 1969), and whether the court, in the exercise of its inherent parens patriae or wardship jurisdiction, can overrule that decision in an appropriate case. The challenge was unsuccessful and the court held that Re R (A Minor) (Wardship: Consent to Treatment) and Re W (A Minor) (Medical Treatment: Courts Jurisdiction) remain good law. Claire Watson considers the implications of this decision.

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