Mature minors and self-determination in medical consent law: a comparison between the Italian legal system and the English legal system

Mature minors and self-determination in medical consent law: a comparison between the Italian legal system and the English legal system
Giulia Binatoa
Interdisciplinary Journal of Family Studies, 5 May 2019
Abstract
Italian Law no. 219 of 2017 reforms medical consent law and introduces advanced healthcare directives. No changes are made to general private law rules on children capacity, including medical consent within parental responsibility. In accordance with the recent innovations brought by the Italian reform of filiation, children have a right to be heard and express their own view on the treatment over their person, proportionately to their age and understanding. The paper criticizes the Italian medical consent law dispositions on children who have sufficient understanding. Making a systematic comparison between the Italian situation and the so-called mature minor doctrine in English law, the paper specifically examines the assumption that the child’s right to be heard outside a judicial proceeding may be instrumental to assure self-determination of children within their fundamental rights of life, dignity and health.

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