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The Age Of Consent Essay

538 words - 2 pages

The idea of “the child” is constantly evolving, and children appear to be maturing more rapidly each year. As a response, laws pertaining to minors have had to keep up with these social changes. In the health care context, the competency of children is constantly scrutinized and challenged. Accordingly, reforms to past laws that deemed minors lacked decisional capacity have resulted in the “mature minor” doctrine. Although this doctrine allows minors a degree of independence in the decision-making process it maintains many grey areas. The age of consent is inconsistent across provinces and territories, and the guidelines used to assess competence are vague and sometimes arbitrary. With such inconsistency in the measuring of adolescent competence, it brings me to question the competence granted freely to adults. To rightfully judge competence there must be a prototype, something that I and others can form a explicit definition around. With what I have collected, since individuals gain decision-making autonomy when they reach the age of consent, than the defining characteristic of competency must be adulthood. This absurd thinking brings me to dispute this tendency to question the rationality of minors, and not their adult parents, to make rational choices about what is to be done to their own bodies, just on the basis of their age.
For the basis of my analysis I will use Dr. Kenneth De Ville’s analytical critique of society’s consensus of adult’s authority to make medical decisions for their minor children (De Ville 253). A present member of the Department of Public Health and a member of the Medical Humanities faculty in East Carolina University, De Ville focuses on...

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