First GMC guidance on treating children issued

Guidance outlining health professionals’ roles and responsibilities towards children and young people under the age of 18 has been launched by the GMC.

Professor Catto
Professor Catto

The guidance, which is the first to focus solely on young people, sets out the GMC’s expectations and will help doctors make decisions that are ethical, lawful and in the best interests of children and young people.

The guidance states that GPs must involve children and young people directly in discussions about their care and take their views seriously.

GPs should consider factors including the child’s or parents’ cultural or religious beliefs or values when assessing those best interests.

They should also provide clear and appropriate information to children about their condition and treatment.

The GMC adds that GPs should respect the confidences of children and young people and be aware that the same duties of confidentiality apply as with adults.

GMC president Professor Sir Graeme Catto said: ‘This is the first time the GMC has set standards for doctors specifically about children and young people.’

GMC guidance on treating under-18s:

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