Gillick competence

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Gillick competence

A UK term of art referring to the competence of a child under the age of 16 to consent to his/her own medical care, without the need for parental permission.

The Gillick standard arose from the High Court’s decision in Gillick v West Norfolk and Wisbech Area Health Authority [1985] 3 All ER 402 (HL), which is binding in the UK and approved in Australia, Canada, and New Zealand. In this landmark case, Mrs Gillick, a mother of 10, took the West Norfolk and Wisbech Health Authority to court for issuing a circular advising doctors on providing contraception to minors (here, under age 16), which the Authority left up to the doctor’s discretion. Mrs Gillick argued that parental rights trumped consent where the child in question was under age 16. The court responded by saying that parental rights do not exist. Gillick competence is of interest to pathologists in the UK as related to the Human Tissue Act 2004.
References in periodicals archive ?
Mrs Gillick sought a declaration that prescribing contraception was illegal because the doctor would commit an offence of encouraging sex with a minor, and that it would be treatment without consent as consent vested in the parent.
Mrs Gillick said: "I have loved working here and teaching all the children, and I will really miss them all.
When she heard the verdict, Mrs Gillick, aged 36, burst into tears and collapsed into her husband's arms shouting, "God Almighty, that's ridiculous.
Mrs Gillick said after the ruling that she felt very bitter.
Although Mrs Gillick had performed a public duty by directing the court's attention to problems arising from the potential conflict between parental rights and a doctor's duty, parental rights have never been treated as sovereign or beyond review or control.
When he rushed out of the garage with his clothing in flames, Mrs Gillick heard his cries.
Mother of 10 Mrs Gillick says the Brook Advisory Centre libelled her in a leaflet.
Mrs Gillick, who is in her 50s, said: "In other words they were saying I was the main reason for it.
Mrs Gillick is convinced that giving young girls contraceptives led them to have more sex and caused more pregnancies.