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Refusal to Provide Consent

Patients with capacity and over 16 years of age have the right to refuse care.

Do not continue with the care of a patient if the patient refuses to provide valid consent (when they have the capacity to do so). Continuing care without consent can lead to criminal charges, civil actions and allegations of professional misconduct. Special rules apply for adults with incapacity who refuse or resist treatment [1].

If a child, or carer of a child, refuses to give consent or to co-operate, attempt to obtain consent for examination or treatment at a subsequent appointment. If consent is not forthcoming, inform the named/designated contact person in your local child protection procedures immediately if the child requires urgent attention or there is a risk of harm (see Child Protection Contacts in NHS Boards and Medical Emergencies and Consent). If in doubt, contact your dental defence organisation.