Gillick V. Justice Woolf's Lack Of Care

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The Department of Health and Social Security in 2000 issued a memorandum of guidance regarding the provision of contraceptive advice to under sixteen year olds. This memorandum derived from the previous statutory provision of 1997 whereby no age limit had been applied. Mrs Victoria Gillick, a woman with five daughters all under the age of sixteen, however, scrutinised the guidance and sought a declaration that guidance from the former Department of Health and Social Security Department (DHSS) was deemed unlawful and was an infringement of her parental rights. She consequently wrote to them demanding that all three of her children were forbidden from being provided with contraceptive advice without her consent. However, this did not seem to shift the views of the local authority and they could not promise that no advice would be given. As a result, Mrs Gillick petitioned across the country and took her case to the High Court. Mr Justice Woolf held that she was not entitled to the declaration she sought because “in order to obtain the relief the plaintiff had to establish… that lack of parental consent would render the doctor’s conduct unlawful” however Woolf decided that the plaintiff did not establish this and a doctor would make an effort to ensure that nothing happened…show more content…
they went on to say that in particular circumstances the doctor is to “exercise his clinical judgement to decide whether to prescribe contraception.” He also emphasised that many girls are perfectly capable of making their own independent, sensible decisions before they reach the age of 16 and when they have reached this the parental right to determine their treatment should be terminated, therefore he declared that the Court of Appeal’s decision should be
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