Forcing teens to disclose abortion could breach rights

NewsTalk ZB 5 May 2016
Forcing a teenager to tell her parents if she has an abortion could be a breach of her rights.

A petition is currently before select committee, asking doctors to inform parents if a girl under 16 wants an abortion.

Ministry of Justice policy manager Caroline Greaney said there was a ground-breaking decision in 1986, that a child’s age shouldn’t be the biggest factor in whether they’re allowed to make a decision for themselves.

“Everybody is presumed competent, unless there is reasonable grounds that they are not competent.

“A person is assumed competent to make a decision if they understand the nature of the procedure and the consequences of that procedure. The capacity is considered on a case-by-case basis by doctors.”

Greaney said doctors currently follow the medical code’s rule on consumer rights.


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