Handout: A Guide for Health Care Practitioners in the Assessment of Young People’s Capacity to Consent to Treatment
Young people who are facing the challenges of coping with cancer are faced with many decisions about their treatment options. Age is not a factor in the determination of a young person’s capacity to consent to treatment. Capacity to consent to treatment is presumed without consideration of age. The assessment of whether these young people understand the information necessary to make a treatment decision, appreciate the consequences of that decision and are able to communicate that decision, can be challenging for health care practitioners. The workshop included discussion of some of the factors that need to be considered by the health care practitioner when asked to provide an assessment of the capacity of a youth to whom treatment for cancer is being proposed by the health care provider.
Rose Geist, BSc., MD, FRCPC
Chief and Medical Director, Mental Health Program
Trillium Health Partners; University of Toronto
Medical Psychiatrist, Hospital for Sick Children
Stephen Goudge, Q.C.
Counsel, Paliare Roland Rosenberg Rothstein LLP, Toronto
Board of Directors President, Pediatric Oncology Group of Ontario (POGO)
Lawrence F. Jardine, MD, FRCPC
Section Head, Pediatric Hematology Oncology
Children’s Hospital, London Health Sciences Centre