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Is the Autonomy of Children Upheld in Consenting to Medical Treatment - Coursework Example

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From the paper "Is the Autonomy of Children Upheld in Consenting to Medical Treatment" it is clear that academic reasoning propounds that the fundamental purpose of obtaining patient consent to a specified treatment is to protect doctors against committing an actionable tort of battery.  …
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Is the Autonomy of Children Upheld in Consenting to Medical Treatment
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Download file to see previous pages Lord Donaldson emphasised this justification in Re W (a minor)3 adopting the analogy of a legal “flak jacket”, which protects doctors from litigious claims and sanctions their right to proceed with treatment without litigious consequences. In highlighting the legal purpose of consent as operating as a “flak-jacket”; Lord Donaldson also pointed out the clinical purpose of consent, which is essential to efficacious medical practice.
The dynamic of these principles fundamentally alter in the complex area of consent and minor patients, which is an often controversial legal minefield. The focus of this analysis is to critically evaluate the law in relation to minor consent to medical treatment and consider how far the courts preserve the autonomy of children in reaching difficult decisions. Furthermore, it will also be necessary to consider the law relating to patient consent, parental responsibility and consent and the right of medical practitioners to withdraw or withhold life-prolonging treatment.
It is important at the outset to mention the impact of the Human Rights Act 1998 (HRA)4 and its impact on the issue of consent under English Law. NHS healthcare authorities are “public authorities5” for the purpose of the Act and as such, NHS trusts are required to act in accordance with the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR6).
The HRA implements and grants ECHR protection to patients in the UK and in considering the issues in relation to consent and minor autonomy, courts have a positive obligation under the HRA to uphold directly enforceable rights under the ECHR.
Not all the rights under the ECHR are absolute and can be restricted under interests of national security and the protection of health, rights and freedoms of others. However, any such restrictions are limited within specified legal grounds, in pursuit of a legitimate end. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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