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Gillick v West Norfolk and Wisbech AHA

[1986] AC 122

Case summary last updated at 15/01/2020 06:53 by the Oxbridge Notes in-house law team.

Judgement for the case Gillick v West Norfolk and Wisbech AHA

A woman demanded that the NHS does not give advice to her daughters about contraception, abortion etc. without parental consent (in the context of an NHS policy which does offer all these things to girls under 16 without parental knowledge at the time of the trial). Her case was dismissed by the trial judge, her appeal allowed by the CA and the HL reversed the decision, supporting the NHS policy’s legality. Firstly the National Health Service Act placed no age restrictions on who could be supplied contraception. Secondly the ability of the parent to take medical decisions for children under 16 terminated once the child was able to take decisions for themselves (Gaurdianship of Minors Act 1971 states that the courts should hold the welfare of a child above all else, including parental rights. The judge takes the view that parental rights exist in order for them to discharge their duties. If a stuation arises in which parental rights stand in the way of the child, those rights are not to be prioritized first). 

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