Children's rights to participate in medical decisions, with special reference to coercive treatment

Svensson, Gustav
January 2007
BMC Psychiatry;2007 Supplement 1, Vol. 7, Special section p1
Academic Journal
Background The objective was to investigate legal rights of children with regard to medical matters, especially their right to make decisions of their own. Methods To fulfil the main objective traditional legal methods have been used. That means that above all the legal rules, the preparatory works and the precedents have been analyzed. Results Psychiatric care can in Sweden be given involuntarily in accordance with the Act on Coercive Psychiatric Care (LPT). In LPT, there are no legal rules that explicitly state who is to say yes or no to the recommended care. Instead guidance must be found in other sources of law including the common legislation on the relationship between parents and children. Even so the legal situation is unsure in some aspects. From these other sources of law I conclude that the right to say yes or no to recommended care - in the project analyzed as the negative right to decide - is divided between the parents and the children. For the small children the parents can make the decisions while older teenagers (15 - 17 years) normally have their own right to decide. The hard cases are the legal situation for the young teenagers. But at least some sources of law support that also teenagers in this group (perhaps as young as 11 - 12 years) have their own negative right to decide. Psychiatric care thus can't in such cases be given only out of the consent of the parents. Another important question is to what extent children on their own can ask for psychiatric care, i.e. the positive right to decide. The principles just mentioned can to some degree be applied also in this question. Conclusion As hinted, Swedish legislation in many questions consider adolescents competent to take their own decisions. However, the ideal situation is of course a situation where the care is given after a joint decision.


Related Articles

  • Clayton's Detention: a risky practice? Saunders, Linda // Australian Nursing Journal;Nov2008, Vol. 16 Issue 5, p31 

    The article discusses Clayton's Detention arrangement for the care, treatment and custody of those with a mental illness and at a risk of harming themselves or others. It discusses the case of Sandra Sanders, a detained patient, in confinement or custody, who was able to leave Moodbury Hospital...

  • Operationalizing the involuntary treatment regulations of China's new mental health law. Yang SHAO; Bin XIE // Shanghai Archives of Psychiatry;Dec2013, Vol. 25 Issue 6, p384 

    The article highlights several problems related to the implementation of the Mental Health Law of the People's Republic of China's treatment of involuntary versus voluntary inpatient admission of mentally ill individuals. Topics covered include the use of broad or narrow definitions of...

  • Policies regarding coercive care in Swedish child and adolescent psychiatry. Kjellin, Lars // BMC Psychiatry;2007 Supplement 1, Vol. 7, Special section p1 

    Background To investigate the routines for involuntary admissions and treatment according to the Swedish Compulsory Psychiatric Care Act in Swedish child and adolescent psychiatry. Methods A questionnaire specially designed for the study was sent to the heads of all 24 child and adolescent...

  • The Medicalisation of Deviance. Gosden, Richard // Social Alternatives;Apr97, Vol. 16 Issue 2, p58 

    The article discusses issues involving involuntary treatment in New South Wales (NSW). According to the annual report of the NSW Mental Health Review Tribunal, a quasi-judicial body constituted under the NSW Mental Health Act, the involuntary commitment to mental hospitals is being erroneously...

  • One in three people concerned about draft mental health Bill. Scott, Helen // British Journal of Nursing;9/26/2002, Vol. 11 Issue 17, p1112 

    Editorial. Comments on a proposed mental health legislation in Great Britain. Provisions concerning compulsory treatment; Differences of the bill from the 1983 Mental Health Act; Circumstances set in the bill under which patients should seek treatment.

  • Commissioners identify shortfall in care.  // Learning Disability Practice;Feb2002, Vol. 5 Issue 1, p4 

    Reports on the variations in the quality of care for mentally ill persons detained under Great Britain's Mental Health Act. Adequacy of services and support in community; Availability of care and support for people with learning disabilities.

  • Detaining dangerous people with mental disorders. Birmingham, Luke // BMJ: British Medical Journal (International Edition);7/6/2002, Vol. 325 Issue 7354, p2 

    Editorial. Focuses on the draft of a mental health bill in Great Britain that introduces a legal framework for the compulsory treatment of people with mental disorders in hospitals and in the community. Discussion of the procedure for compulsion, protection of patient rights, the definition of...


    This article discusses under what circumstances patients who are suffering from senile dementia or mental retardation should be submitted to coercive care, who should decide about this kind of coercion, and in what legal framework it should take place. A distinction is drawn between modest (i.e....

  • Department says it cannot provide tribunals to meet draft bill plans. Gillen, Sally // Community Care;10/13/2005, Issue 1594, p10 

    Reports that the British government will be unable to provide mental health tribunals for people detained for more than 28 days under the proposed Mental Health Bill. Provisions of the proposed bill; Estimated increase in the number of tribunal hearings per year following the legislation of the...


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics