Wednesday, 7 March 2012
Dáil Éireann Debate
243. Deputy Sean Fleming asked the Minister for Health, further to Parliamentary Question No. 654 of 24 January 2012 regarding the issue of whether consent of guardians is required when making a medical decision in the case of a child born within a marriage, when he referred to the 2006 Health Service Executive guidelines on obtaining consent to clinical treatment in an acute hospital setting but made no reference to the most recent document, staff guidelines for obtaining consent for non-emergency treatment-services from parents of children and young people under the age of 18 years, if he will explain the difference between both documents; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13192/12]
Minister for Health (Deputy James Reilly): There are clearly differences between the two HSE guidance documents referred to in the Parliamentary Question as they pertain to different service areas: The 2009 document Staff Guidelines for Obtaining Consent for Non Emergency Treatment/Services from Parents of Children and Young People Under the Age of 18 Years relates to the non-acute services and the 2006 document Guidelines in relation to obtaining consent to Clinical Treatment in an Acute Hospital setting pertains to the acute hospital setting.
The HSE recognises that a national consent policy is required and in 2011 the Quality and Patient Safety Directorate established a National Consent Advisory Group with broad stakeholder representation to develop one overarching consent policy and supporting documentation, which will include national guidelines. It is anticipated that the policy will be available in the latter part of 2012.
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