Provisions for consent by children to medical treatment and surgical operations, and duties to report child and aged persons abuse: 1 April 2010

David McQuoid-Mason


The remaining sections of the Children’s Act and the Children’s Amendment Act came into effect on 1 April 2010, thus completely repealing the Child Care Act. The provisions of the Children’s Act dealing with the capacity of children to consent to HIV testing and to access contraceptives have been in effect since 1 July 2007. The Children’s Act now allows sufficiently mature children of 12 years of age to consent to medical treatment, and to consent to surgical operations with the assistance of their parent or guardian. The provisions allowing consent to termination of pregnancy by girls of any age in the Choice on Termination of Pregnancy Act are not affected by the Children’s Act.

On the same date, the Children’s Amendment Act and Older Persons Act came into effect. The Children’s Amendment Act replaces the child abuse reporting duties in the Child Care Act and the Prevention of Family Violence Act, both of which were repealed when the Children’s Amendment Act came into effect. The Older Persons Act replaces the duty to report abuse and neglect of aged persons in the Aged Persons Act (as amended by the Aged Persons Amendment Act) which was repealed when the Older Persons Act came into effect.

Author's affiliations

David McQuoid-Mason, University of KwaZulu-Natal

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Children's Act; consent to medical treatment; consent to surgical operations; consent on behalf of children; refusal of consent by children

Cite this article

South African Medical Journal 2010;100(10):646,648.

Article History

Date submitted: 2010-05-23
Date published: 2010-10-01

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