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Competent for confidence at 12 years of age?
  1. Robert Wheeler
  1. Wessex Centre for Paediatric & Neonatal Surgery, Southampton University Hospitals Trust, Southampton, UK
  1. Correspondence to Robert Wheeler, Wessex Centre for Paediatric & Neonatal Surgery, Southampton University Hospitals Trust, Tremona Road, Southampton, Hampshire, Southampton SO16 6YD, UK; robert.wheeler{at}suht.swest.nhs.uk

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The British Medical Association toolkit,1 in keeping with government advice, notes that children of 12 years and over are presumed to be competent to provide their consent for the disclosure of their personal information. This is inconsistent with the rules governing the treatment of children in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The Data Protection Act 1998 noted the presumption (in Scottish law) of competence in children of 12 years or over.2 But the guidance of the Information Commissioner3 on the DPA …

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