Mother and Child, 2007 by Ukrainian artist Matvey Vaisberg.

“Medical care providers have specific legal duties in relation to youth: to respect their human rights and to assess their capacity to consent to treatment. In AB v CD (2020), the BC Court of Appeal clarified the responsibilities of health care providers when their patient is under 19 years of age,[1] addressed how the Infants Act[2] and Family Law Act[3] apply in situations where youth and parents disagree about medical treatment.[4] The Court confirmed that under the law, health care providers, not parents, are responsible for two things: assessing the capacity of a minor patient to consent to a treatment and determining whether a treatment is in the best interest of that patient. Where a health care provider assesses a young person to be capable and concludes that the treatment is in their best interests, the young person alone has authority to consent to or refuse treatment. In providing health care to a youth, providers’ responsibilities are subject to the scrutiny of their professional bodies and human rights tribunals.”

Learn more on Legal rights of transgender youth seeking medical care via BCMJ.

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