Consent and confidentiality in children




patient confidentiality, children, adult consent


Confidentiality is central to the establishment and preservation of trust between a doctor and their patient, yet is one of the lesser-discussed principles of medical bio-ethics. A "duty of confidence arises when one person discloses information to another in circumstances where it is reasonable to expect that information to be held in confidence".1

Its moral basis is in that it should improve patient welfare, and as such, it is encompassed during all aspects of the treatment process, beginning with the initial consultation where patient autonomy and informed consent are first addressed.


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General Dental Council. Guidelines for doctors: confidentiality. Accessed at:; Accessed on 26-04-2020.

Health Professions Council of South Africa Guidelines for Good Practice in the Health care Professions as promulgated in the Government Gazette R717. 2006; (2nd ed.) B. Booklet 2; Section 13. Professional Confidentiality.

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Carstens PA. Informed Consent in Medical law. The South African Medico Legal perspectives. Accessed at: Accessed on 19-02-2020.




How to Cite

Sykes, L. M., & Crafford, E. (2020). Consent and confidentiality in children. South African Dental Journal, 75(8), 462–464.

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