Why can’t youth register themselves at the school they want to attend? They have the most to gain and lose by attending a school they don’t like or don’t want to attend. In BC, a child who is a mature minor may make their own health care decisions independent of their parents’ or guardians’ wishes. BC has no set age when a child is considered capable to give consent. Compared to the Age Based Rights, having parents register a child at a school of their choice seems a bit contradictory these days by comparison and takes the rights away from the child to choose the school they want to attend. Click on the links in this paragraph or below to learn more.
SCHOOL ACT, BC Ministry of Education Governance and Legislation Branch C-1 August 17, 2017 REVISED STATUTES OF BRITISH COLUMBIA, 1996
(a) a guardian within the meaning of the Family Law Act, or
(b) a personal guardian within the meaning of the Infants Act;
“parent” means, in respect of a student or of a child registered under section 13,
(a) a parent or other person who has guardianship or custody of the student or child,
other than a parent or person who, under an agreement or order made under the
Family Law Act that allocates parental responsibilities, does not have parental
responsibilities in relation to the student’s or child’s education, or
(b) a person who usually has the care and control of the student or child;
13 (1) A parent of a child who is required under section 12 to provide the child with an
educational program must register the child on or before September 30 in each year with
(a) a school of the parent’s choice that is operating in British Columbia,
(a.1) if the child is an eligible child, a school referred to in paragraph (a) or (c), or a
francophone school of the parent’s choice that is operating in the francophone
school district in which the parent resides,
(a.2) if the child is an immigrant child, a school referred to in paragraph (a) or (c), or
a francophone school of the parent’s choice that is operating in the francophone
school district in which the parent resides but only if the francophone education
authority responsible for that school permits the parent to register that child, or
(b) REPEALED 2006-21-8, effective June 30/06, BC Reg 195/06
(c) an independent school operating in British Columbia.
(2) If, in accordance with subsection (1), a parent is entitled to register his or her child
with a school or, in the case of an eligible child or immigrant child, with a francophone school,
(a) the board that has jurisdiction over the school must ensure that the principal,
vice principal or director of instruction responsible for that school registers the
(b) the francophone education authority that has jurisdiction over the francophone
school must ensure that the francophone principal, francophone vice principal
or francophone director of instruction of that francophone school registers the
(3) A school or francophone school that registers a child under this section must provide
the child with access to educational services in accordance with the regulations.
(4) A person who contravenes subsection (1) commits an offence.
[1997-52-6 effective Aug. 1/97, BC Reg. 287/97; 2002-53-7, effective May 30/02, 2006-21-8, effective June 30/06, BC Reg 195/06]
MEANINGFUL PARTICIPATION OF CHILDREN AND YOUTH IN CHILD PROTECTION MEDIATION
PRACTICE GUIDELINES For Child Protection Mediators and Child Welfare Practitioners
Ministry of Children and Family Development and Ministry of Justice April 2015
[RSBC 1996] CHAPTER 223
Part 2 — Medical Treatment
Consent of infant to medical treatment
17 (1) In this section:
“health care” means anything that is done for a therapeutic, preventive, palliative, diagnostic, cosmetic or other health related purpose, and includes a course of health care;
“health care provider” includes a person licensed, certified or registered in British Columbia to provide health care.
(2) Subject to subsection (3), an infant may consent to health care whether or not that health care would, in the absence of consent, constitute a trespass to the infant’s person, and if an infant provides that consent, the consent is effective and it is not necessary to obtain a consent to the health care from the infant’s parent or guardian.
(3) A request for or consent, agreement or acquiescence to health care by an infant does not constitute consent to the health care for the purposes of subsection (2) unless the health care provider providing the health care
(a) has explained to the infant and has been satisfied that the infant understands the nature and consequences and the reasonably foreseeable benefits and risks of the health care, and
(b) has made reasonable efforts to determine and has concluded that the health care is in the infant’s best interests.
The Infants Act, Mature Minor Consent and Immunization
What is “mature minor consent”?
A child under the age of 19 is called a “minor”. “Mature minor consent” refers to consent to health care given by a child who is assessed by a health care provider as having the necessary understanding to give consent. A child who is assessed by a health care provider as being capable to give consent is called a “mature minor”.
A child who is a mature minor may make their own health care decisions independent of their parents’ or guardians’ wishes. In B.C. there is no set age when a child is considered capable to give consent.
A health care provider can accept consent from the child and provide the treatment without getting consent from the parent or guardian if the health care provider is sure that the child understands:
- the need for the treatment;
- what the treatment involves; and
- the benefits and risks of having the treatment.
How does “mature minor consent” relate to immunization?
In B.C., immunizations for school aged children are given in grade 6 and grade 9. Most of the time, the vaccines are given by nurses at immunization clinics held at schools. Children may also get vaccines at a health unit, youth clinic, doctor’s office, or pharmacy. In all of these settings, a child can consent to the vaccine on their own behalf if the health care provider has determined that the child is capable of making this decision.
Although there is no set age for when a child becomes capable, common practice is for parents or guardians of children in grade 6 to give consent for their child to be immunized. However, children in grade 9 are given the opportunity to consent for themselves. Children are also able to refuse a vaccine for which their parent or guardian has consented as long as they understand the risks of not having it.
The immunization records of any child who gives their own consent will not be shared with the parent or guardian, unless the child gives permission.