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Newsletter: From Evidence to Action

Children's relationships with professionals

Type :
Research reports & papers
Author :
Kruger, J., & Coetzee, M
Published :
Link :

The law says that professionals (like nurses, doctors, social workers and teachers) must include children in decisions about their lives. For example the Children’s Act (a special law for the protection of children) allows children of 12 years and older to agree to their own medical treatment – as long as the doctor is satisfied that the child is able to understand the decision that he or she is taking. Doctors and nurses must explain things in a way that even very young children can understand. They must encourage children to ask questions, listen to what children have to say, and take children’s views seriously before making decisions. This helps children feel more in control of their lives, and cope better with pain and illness.