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At the heart of general practice since 1960

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

Gynaecologist and

part-time GP

Croydon

Surrey

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