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In the genes or in the stars? Children's competence to consent.
  1. P Alderson
  1. Community Paediatric Research Unit, Westminster Children's Hospital, London.


    Children's competence to refuse or consent to medical treatment or surgery tends to be discussed in terms of the child's ability or maturity. This paper argues that the social context also powerfully influences the child's capacity to consent. Inner attributes and external influences are discussed using an analogy of the genes and the stars.

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