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Improving consultations with children and adolescents
  1. Hilda Bastian
  1. Health Sciences & Medicine, Bond University, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Ms Hilda Bastian, Health Sciences & Medicine, Bond University, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia; hildabast{at}

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By the age of 16 years at the latest, young people have the right to consent before receiving treatment.1 Well before that age, though, leaving children out of decision making could come at a serious cost. By the age of 13 years, young people with long-term conditions can be responsible for the majority of illness-related self-care. From the age of 11 years, they can be frustrated if they and their preferences are left out of decisions.2 Young and older teens say that happens a lot.2

Researchers report that, too.3 Authors observing interactions with children in hospital recently reported a common aspect of this: doctors and parents talking to each other as though the child was not there, some or all …

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  • Competing interests None declared. Refer to the online supplementary files to view the ICMJE form(s).

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; externally peer reviewed.