Legal Status of a Minor in Giving Consent to Treatment from the Perspective of the Malaysian Child Act 2001

Tengku Noor Azira Tengku Zainudin, Anita Abdul Rahim, Mohamad Afiq Taqiudin Roslan

Abstract


Patient’s autonomy to make his own decision is an ethical principle that has been interpreted into the legal concept of consent. Consent to medical treatment is a very fundamental aspect in medical law as it can be regarded as an acknowledgment that a patient has the right to make his own decision on what he wants to be done to his body. In the area of consent, capacity of the patient to make decision plays an important role. Capacity from the context of a patient’s age is one of the factors that needs to be considered in deciding whether that particular patient has capacity to give consent or not. In this paper the focus will be on whether children governed by the Malaysian Child Act 2001 have the right to give consent to their medical treatment. In discussing this issue, the writers will look into the general legal position of children to give consent in Malaysia before going into the specific legal provisions pertaining to consent to medical treatment for children governed by the jurisdiction of the Child Act 2001. This is in order to give legal clarity to the issue of consent involving patients who are still children, primarily those taken under the protective wings of the Child Act 2001. For the purpose of this paper, the writers adopted the pure legalistic approach involving statute interpretation, reference to decided cases and comparative study to other relevant jurisdiction.

DOI: 10.5901/ajis.2013.v2n9p278


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Academic Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies ISSN 2281 3993(Print) ISSN 2281-4612(Online)

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