What should I do if parents disagree about their child's treatment?

In theory, consent may be given by one person with parental responsibility - but when there is a dispute between parents and the treatment is not required in an emergency, it is normally appropriate to ask the parents to resolve their disagreement.

For some types of treatment, agreement is required between those with parental responsibility. Examples include immunisation and male circumcision for religious reasons.

If a dispute cannot be resolved informally, you should seek legal advice about whether to apply for a court ruling.

For more information, read our guide on children whose parents are separated.

This page was correct at publication on 17/12/2021. 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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