GPs are best judge of understanding
I was pleased to read the report that teenage pregnancy rates are higher where surgeries do not prescribe contraception to under-16s (April 7). Only last month at a social gathering I noticed how a GP was proudly describing his conversation with a teenager that day where he refused the emergency pill to a 15-year-old.
He refused to acknowledge Gillick competence and he just ignored my explanation. Who is in a better position than a GP to judge the competence of the patients? GPs must ensure a young person understands. GPs can discuss the value of parental support.
GPs must respect the duty of confidentiality and must not refuse to see a teenager without a parent, otherwise many will risk an unplanned pregnancy rather than seeking help.
Dr B Dixit
Family planning instructing doctor