re Leo 2015 FamCA 50

The judge found that a child aged 16.5 years met the Gillick criteria of competence to make an informed decision (capacity to decide) about a proposed medical treatment as an assessor found that the child:

  • demonstrated clearly that he is able to comprehend and retain existing and new detailed information about the proposed treatment.
  • provided the assessor with full and comprehensive explanations of the nature of the treatment, in his own age-appropriate language, in detail most adults would find difficult.
  • was able to explain the advantages of the treatment.
  • was able to explain the disadvantages of the treatment including both short-term difficulties associated with treatment and long-term issues.
  • was able to weigh the advantages and disadvantages in the balance, and arrive at an informed decision about whether and when he should proceed with the treatment.
  • was able to understand that to proceed with the treatment could have consequences that cannot be entirely foreseen at the time of the decision.
  • was able to understand that the treatment will not necessarily address all of any psychological or social difficulties that he had before commencement of treatment.
  • was free, to the greatest extent possible, from ‘temporary factors’ such as pressure or pain that could impair his judgment in providing consent to this treatment.