Children and consent/assent to treatment
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The Oxford Dictionary of Modern English defines a child as “a young human being below the age of puberty, a boy or a girl”, adult as “grown to full size or strength, mature” and adolescent as “between childhood and maturity”. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child defined a child as “a human being below the age of 18 years unless under the law applicable to the child, majority is attained earlier” and this was ratified by 192 of the 194 member countries. The age of majority is the threshold of adulthood as recognised in law and is the chronological moment when minors cease to be legally considered as children and start to take responsibility for their own actions and decisions. It is also the point when the parents/guardians cease having legal control and responsibility for them.
As paediatric dentists we treat children until they become adults. However, when does a child become an adult? Is it at a fixed age, e.g. 18 years old, or is it at a certain level of...