Anyone over the age of 16 can consent to medical treatment. Consent means that you agree to the examination or treatment being proposed.

People under the age of 16 can also consent to their own treatment if a health worker believes they have enough understanding of the decision they are making.

However, in this situation, a doctor or health worker would usually try to persuade the young person to involve their parents in decision-making.

Although the age of consent to sexual activity is 16 generally (17 in Northern Ireland) it is lawful for doctors to provide contraceptive advice and treatment without parental consent to young people under 16 providing certain criteria are met.