The Law Reform Commission (LRC) have launched a report that deals with children’s rights with regards to medical treatment. The Report, which was launched by the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Frances Fitzgerald, TD, outlines various key recommendations which aim to clarify existing laws.
Among the key points in the report is the recommendation that 16 and 17 year olds should be presumed to have full capacity and that those under 16 should not be presumed competent to consent to, or refuse, medical treatment.
Other proposals state that where any person under 18 refuses life-sustaining treatment, an application to the High Court would be required to decide on the validity of any such refusal. The Commission also recommends that that the Mental Health Act 2001 be amended.
The Law Reform Commission is an independent statutory body whose main role is to keep the law under review and to make proposals for reform. Approximately 70 percent of proposals made by the LRC have led on to reforming legislation.