Children can only be treated with parental consent
This week, discussion centred on whether a practising dentist is permitted to treat children’s teeth without their parents’ consent. The Health Insurance Fund is of the opinion that should a need for treatment become evident as a result of the examination of teeth, the dentist must notify the parents thereof and obtain their consent in order to proceed with the treatment.
Section 766 of the Law of Obligations Act establishes the duty to inform the patient and obtain his or her consent. A patient may be examined and health care services may be provided to him/her by a doctor only with the consent of the patient. In the case of a patient with restricted active legal capacity, the legal representative of the patient must be notified and asked for his or her consent.
Also, the contract of the Health Insurance Fund (including dental care) establishes that the provider of the health care service must be guided by good medical practice, use a treatment method that is the most cost-effective and harmless to the patient’s health, correspond to the general level of medical science, and for the provision of which the consent of the patient has been obtained.
If a child begins school, his or her parents must grant their consent for the provision of the school health care service to the child. School health care service includes regular health examinations and vaccinations to be conducted in the framework of national immunisation plans and in some cases examinations carried out for preventative purposes by a dentist at school.
Should a need for treatment become evident as a result of the examination of a child’s teeth, the dentist must notify the parents thereof and the parents have the right to choose whether to begin treatment and as to whom should perform said treatment (whether the school dentist or another dentist).
Should a dentist fail to notify the parents and proceed to treat the teeth of a child without notifying the parents and without their consent, the dentist is then in violation of the requirement provided by the Law of Obligations Act and the Contract of the Health Insurance Fund.
Head of Public Relations Department