FSRH releases updated position statement on ‘Young People’
Date: 29 Jun 2021
Type: FSRH Press Releases and Statements
Today we released our updated position statement on ‘Young People’ where we outline our vision for young people’s sexual and reproductive healthcare across the UK.
We believe that young people have the right to make decisions about their medical care in line with their evolving maturity and informed by their clinicians. We are concerned about the risk the Bell judgement poses for young people who may be denied being involved in making sometimes complex and difficult healthcare decisions that are supported by their clinicians and other professionals.
Where required, the assessment of a young person’s capacity to decide about their medical care should always be a matter of clinical judgement and should always be carried out by trained healthcare professionals, not by courts.
You can read the full position statement below and also access it here.
FSRH Position Statement on Young People
Every young person has the right to receive age appropriate, timely, factual and inclusive relationships and sex/sexuality education across the four nations in the UK.
Every young person has the right to easily accessible, young people friendly, high-quality comprehensive, inclusive, free and open-access Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare services.
Services must offer young people – including those under 16 – confidentiality within the scope and limitations of their statutory safeguarding duties.
We recognise young people’s rights and evolving capacity to make decisions about their lives and to consent to medical treatment. This includes under-16s where a healthcare professional has assessed them as competent to consent.
Where required, the assessment of a young person’s capacity to decide about contraception or any other Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare treatment should always be a matter of clinical judgement and should always be carried out by trained healthcare professionals.
We want all young people to have the necessary tools to develop healthy relationships as this is central to their wellbeing. It is important that their access to the necessary services is not a postcode lottery and that services are fully funded across the UK.
We want to help create a UK where all young people are able to confidently access comprehensive Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare in a local setting in which they are comfortable and reassured about their right to confidentiality and consent.
Young people including under-16s should receive factual, unbiased information in schools and clinical settings to enable them to make the best decisions about their Sexual and Reproductive Health and give informed consent to treatment.
When young people make the decision to enter into sexual relationships, they should have local access to a full range of contraceptive choices and be provided with factual information in order to decide which is the best option for them.
Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare services should ensure that information is inclusive of trans and non-binary people so that they can identify and access the services they need to stay safe and healthy. It is important that national policy and services recognise that, whilst most reproductive health service users are women, some trans men and non-binary people also need contraception, abortion, cervical screening, and maternity care.