Children up to the age of 12 years

The child is represented by his or her parents. The parents as well as the child have a right to understandable information. Parents give permission for examination or treatment. The healthcare provider involves the child in this as closely as possible.

Children from 12 to 16 years

The child and the parents both have a right to understandable information and both have to give their permission for treatment.

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Children from 12 to 16 years

The child and the parents both have a right to understandable information and both have to give their permission for treatment. Sometimes, the child can undergo medical examination or treatment just with his or her own permission, and without that of the parents. This is permitted only when:
  • the child is seriously disadvantaged if he or she is not treated.
  • the child persists in his or her wishes – even if the parents do not agree with these. The child has to show that he or she has thought deeply about it, though.
The situation can be opposite as well: the parents agree with a certain treatment, but the child really does not want to receive it. In this case, the treatment cannot be carried out and the healthcare provider has to offer alternative solutions on which the child is able to agree.

Young people aged 16 and up

According to the Medical Treatment Contracts Act (WGBO), children from the age of 16 are allowed to make their own decisions. Only the child has a right to information and of access to his or her patient dossier.

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Young people aged 16 and up

According to the Medical Treatment Contracts Act (WGBO), children from the age of 16 are allowed to make their own decisions. Only the child has a right to information and of access to his or her patient dossier. If parents want to consult their child’s medical file, they need his or her permission for it. Parents may decide for their child in case of legal incapacity; they then make decisions as they think their child would have wanted.  

Single-parent authority

Not all children live together with both parents. Sometimes, one parent has the custody of the child.

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Single-parent authority

Not all children live together with both parents. Sometimes, one parent has the custody of the child, the other parent not being a legal guardian of the child anymore. In that case, this parent may not take part in deciding on matters of treatment. The parent without custody does have a right to general information about his or her child. But this only applies for information in the interest of the child.