Another chapter has opened in the tortured history of the status of Gillick competence. Never before has Gillick been extended to permit a mature child to make autonomous medical decisions over and above the curial 'parens patriae' power. In 2013, two judicial decisions promulgated from different Australian courts are in conflict over this most fundamental of questions. This Article situates the law of the 'parens patriae' power in Australia and, drawing on overseas conceptualizations of analogous doctrine, explores the bases for and potential consequences of this conflict.
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- Gillick competence
- Parens patriae power
- Children and medical decision-making