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Title: Confidentiality and treatment of young adults : proposals for amendments : the Gillick Proposition
Authors: Mangion, Ann Marie
Keywords: Pediatrics -- Decision making -- Moral and ethical aspects
Pediatrics -- Moral and ethical aspects
Medical ethics -- Malta
Confidential communications -- Physicians -- Malta
Pediatrics -- Law and legislation -- Malta
Issue Date: 2015-05
Publisher: Malta College of Family Doctors
Citation: Malta College of Family Doctors. 2015, Vol.4(1), p. 17-23
Abstract: The law does not determine between legal competency and actual competency of minors in medical issues. The objective of this paper is to put forward proposals to amend the legislation to redefine legal competency on the base that understanding should have more bearing than age. The English landmark case of Gillick is used to analyse the Maltese situation. The Maltese legislation was examined and it resulted that there is no legal definition of what competency is. Various legislations use different ages to define competency. The Genito-Urinary (GU) Clinic was even given permission to assess a minor’s competency itself and if it is determined by the medical professional that the minor is competent then such minor will be treated without the need for parental consent. To substantiate the claim, in 2009 the researcher carried out empirical research using both qualitative and quantitative methods. Questionnaires were given to children aged between 6 and 18. Structured and semistructured interviews were used to interview legal and medical professionals involved in the field. By triangulating the results the conclusion reached is that that minors do seek treatment without parental consent and that there are medical professionals who already treat minors without parental consent. There is the need for legal reforms to substantiate the reality of actual competency of minors.
Appears in Collections:JMCFD, Volume 4, Issue 1
JMCFD, Volume 4, Issue 1

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