Andrew Ducker (andrewducker) wrote,
Andrew Ducker
andrewducker

Following on from guyinahat's post yesterday about a 14-year-old who had an abortion without her mother being informed, The Guardian has more information today:

Yesterday the DfES, Nottinghamshire county council and the school all said that the decision had been taken in confidential sessions with health workers, and that teachers were not involved with helping her seek an abortion. The mother said she understood the law but was not convinced it reflected "what most parents of 14-year-olds would assume would happen in that position."

In a statement the school and its governors said: "Contrary to some of the recent press coverage of an individual case we wish to make it clear that no teachers were aware of the student's situation. The matter was dealt with solely and in confidence by the health professionals. The student will receive the full support of the school on her return."

Joan Barlow, chief executive of the young people's sexual health charity Brook, agreed that the case was highly unusual but defended young people's right to confidentiality: "The law allows young people aged under 16 to consent to medical treatment if they have sufficient maturity and judgment to enable them to understand what is proposed.

"The duty of confidentiality owed to a person under 16 is the same as that owed to any other person. If a young woman under 16 is considered competent to consent to her own medical treatment, she can consent to an abortion.

"However, it is usually only in extreme situations that an abortion would be performed without any parental involvement. Research has shown that 25% of under-16s are put off visiting a sexual health services because of worries about confidentiality, compared to 12% of over 16s."


Complete article here.

It's a tricky one, but if the child doggedly didn't want to inform their parent(s) and did want an abortion and seemed to understand the situation reasonably well, then all the right things seem to have happened. Nasty situation though.
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