Patients Aged 16 and Under

Medical practitioners are able to provide contraception or abortion to young patients aged 16 and under if they are deemed to be ‘Gillick competent’. This means the young patient has “sufficient understanding and intelligence to enable them to understand fully what is proposed”. If a young patient is Gillick competent, they are able to provide a valid legal consent to an abortion.

Further information can be found here. (Source: Children By Choice)

Key considerations for young people include: reducing the structural barriers to services such as cost, access to transport and service operating hours, and the creation of a welcoming, non-judgemental service environment.

  • Guidelines for Assessing the Adolescent Patient

    These guidelines are provided by The Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne and include the template for a HEEADSSS interview.

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  • Royal Australian College of Physicians (RACP) Sexual and Reproductive Health Care for Young People Position Statement

    This position paper addresses the importance of sexuality and relationships education and sexual and reproductive health care for young people (adolescents and young adults between 12 and 24 years of age) in Australia and New Zealand.

    Read Statement

  • CERSH Online Learning Module - Youth and Trust

    CERSH has developed a series of free online learning modules related to rural sexual health care. One of the modules covers Youth and Trust and may be helpful for practitioners seeking additional learning in this area.

    Go to Module Overview

  • Published Research and Articles
    School-based youth health nurses and adolescent decision-making concerning reproductive and sexual health advice: How can the law guide healthcare practitioners in this context?

    Smith, MK & Stepanov, N 2014, Contemporary Nurse: A Journal for the Australian Nursing Profession, vol. 47, pp. 42-50

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    Consent to medical treatment: the mature minor

    This article examines the legal obligations of general practitioners when obtaining consent to medical treatment from patients who are less than 18 years of age. Its focus is not on the Victorian context but may nevertheless provide some useful information in another Australian context.

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    Adolescent abortion in 11 high‐income countries including Australia: towards the establishment of a minimum data set

    A. R. Assifi, E. A. Sullivan, M. Kang, A. J Dawson. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health (2019).

    Read Article