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When you go for any surgery including GAT or corrective surgery, remember that it cannot be done without your written consent. The age of consent for medical procedures is 18 years1, and consent given by a person of unsound mind or a child below 12 years is not valid.2
The doctor doing any surgery needs to ensure that the consent given by you is real consent, meaning4:
- You should have the capacity and competence to consent. For example, someone of unsound mind will not be able to consent.
- Your consent should be voluntary. For example, if you are being coerced by family members to undergo any procedure, it is not real consent.
- Your consent should be based on adequate information on the treatment procedure, so that you know what you are consenting to. Adequate information on the procedure includes:
- the nature and procedure of the treatment;
- its purpose and benefits;
- its likely effects and any complications which may arise;
- any alternatives if available;
- an outline of the substantial risks; and
- adverse consequences of refusing treatment.
However, adequate information need not include remote risks, rare complications and possible results of negligent surgery.
If you face any discrimination while accessing medical or psychological healthcare, you can take action to alleviate the problem. For example, if someone performs surgery on you without your consent, this is illegal and you can seek relief. Please see here for the options you have.
- Section 3, Indian Majority Act, 1875
- Section 90, Indian Penal Code, 1860.
- National Legal Services Authority v. Union of India & Ors (AIR 2014 SC, 1863
- Samira Kohli v. Dr. Prabha Machanda and Ors (2008) 2 SCC 1.