Workshop 2: Contraception and other preventive measures tailored for adolescents and young people

Workshop 2: Contraception and other

preventive measures tailored for adolescents and young people

Chair: A. Webb (United Kingdom) & G. Bartfai (Hungary)

The aim was to start a discussion around what may affect the use

of clinical and advisory services by young people.

Every country had some successes but all were aware that there

are still many barriers. The main area explored looked at the legal framework

that clinicians had to work in with regards to sexual health issues in minors.

In all countries an adult was defined as anyone aged 18 years or over. Below

that there is a plethora of laws which influence what care can be given whilst

maintaining confidentiality as well as being able to address issues of child


In Greece everything is legal but there is always the

possibility that a complaint can be made against the clinician via the police.

In France the usual age for consent to treatment is 15

years. Below that an abortion can be provided confidentially but not treatment

for STI!

In Ireland and Portugal abortion is illegal

regardless of age and in the latter any pregnant girl under 15 years is referred

to child protection.

In Finland the clinician can use judgement to assess

maturity (11 or 12 years) and there are specialist units for child protection if

there is concern.

In Hungary parental consent is needed for anyone under


In Israel there is a special document for the Ministry of

Health to allow adolescent services, as changing the law is seen as too


In Belgium there are no particular laws regarding sexual

health services and 16 is the age for consent to treatment.

In England & Wales a new sexual offences law has

helped to clarify consent to treatment and the need to refer to specialist


The group agreed that the ESC could possibly be a conduit for

some harmonisation of rights and laws in Europe, to allow normal adolescent

development at varying ages and protection against abuse as well as unwanted

pregnancies and STIs.

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