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Children & Young People's Rights

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The Child and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 is now fully in force. It tells us what parents are responsible for, and also that children and young people have rights.


Agreeing to tests and treatment

Before we start any test or treatment, we will always get consent. This means that we will talk to you, so that together we can agree the best option for your child. We aim to involve both you and your child in this.

Children and young people have the right to:

  • know what is happening.
  • be involved in making choices about their care.
  • decide whether or not they want a parent there.

Children and young people can give their own consent if the doctor thinks they are ‘competent’, in other words that they can understand:

  • why they need a test or treatment.
  • what this will involve.
  • the different end results that the test or treatment may have.

We must respect the right of competent children and young people to consent to or refuse care, even if the parents do not agree. You, your child, or both of you may need to sign the consent form.

Parental rights

The doctors will usually explain to you any test or treatment that your child may need, and ask for your consent (often in writing). If your child is 16 years or older, we will try to include you as much as possible, but this may depend on what your child wants. Please feel free to ask questions and make sure that you understand what is going to happen and any risks. It is very important that you and the Consultant in charge of your child’s care understand each other.

If you are not happy, you can ask for a second opinion, or request a change to another Consultant.

Editorial Information

Last reviewed: 17 January 2022

Next review: 01 May 2027