Children and young people with the capacity to consent
- You should encourage the child or young person to involve their parents in making decisions, unless the child or young person wishes to exclude them.
- You must get the child or young person’s consent to sharing their information if you involve the family.
- If a child with the capacity to consent has consented to treatment that you consider is in the child’s best interests, parents cannot override this.
- If a child with the capacity to consent refuses treatment, a court can override this decision. In Scotland, those with parental responsibility cannot authorise procedures that a child with capacity to consent has refused.
- If a young person with the capacity to consent refuses treatment, the law in England, Wales and Northern Ireland is complex on whether parents can override this refusal. In Scotland, parents cannot override a competent young person’s refusal.
- Although unlikely to occur in optometric practice, if a competent child or young person refuses treatment which you feel is in their best interests, you should contact your professional or representative body for advice.
See section on Safeguarding children and vulnerable adults.