Can a 16-year old patient refuse treatment that would be in their best interests?

Children aged 16 and over are deemed capable of consenting to medical treatment for themselves.

However, the law is more complicated when a young person refuses treatment you believe is in their best interests. If things cannot be resolved informally with the help of other members of the multi-disciplinary team, the parents or child protection specialist, you should seek legal advice.

Read our guide on confidentiality and children for more information.

This page was correct at publication on 16/12/2021. Any guidance is intended as general guidance for members only. If you are a member and need specific advice relating to your own circumstances, please contact one of our advisers.

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