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Legal Matters (Part 1)

LEGAL MATTERS (Part One)GIVING HEALING TO CHILDREN UNDER 18 YEARS OF AGENote: The infomation that follows is based on UK law as it applies to England, Wales and Northern Ireland. In Scotland a person of 16 years or over is considered an adult. However, a married person who resides in any part of the Unitd Kingdom ceases to be regarded as a child on reaching the age of 16. The restrictions described below are as they apply to any young person under the age of 18 years (16 in Scotland) who is not married.Until 1995 it was commonly assumed by most healers, as well as the majority of therapist involved in complementary medicine, that children who were aged 16 years or older could receive treatment without the consent of a parent or guardian. This proved not to be the case and the misunderstanding came about because a person aged sixteen or seventeen years may consent to ‘medical treatment’ in the absence of the consent of the parent or guardian - but, Healing (Spiritual) as well as all the so called ‘alternative ‘ or ‘complementary’ treatments do not qualify in law as ‘medical treatment’. The consent of the parent or guardian of all patients under the age of 18 should therefore, be obtained whenever possible. Where the consent cannot be obtained, treating the patient may technically constitute an assault. The treatment of a patient is legal only with his or her express or implied consent and other than a court of law, only the parent or guardian can give this consent for a minor (defined as being less than 18 years of age) unless for medical treatment recognised in law, as previously described.Note: the law regards as an assault even the touching of one person by another without the formers consent (or their parent or guardian) if under the age of 18.It is for this reason that a Registered Healer will regard it as vital both from the legal point of view as well as on the grounds of good practice, to explain to the patient exactly what is going to take place when performing the act of healing and that they have understood and assented before proceeding. This is why I have explained in some detail my approach to giving Spiritual Healing under topic ‘4’ and what to expect, topic ‘5’. This is particularly important because, as established in several other topics on this website, there are various methods to giving Spiritual Healing ranging from a fully ‘hands-on’ approach to there being no physical contact whatsoever. If for example, a patient has been used to having healing with no, or hardly any, physical touch by the Healer and then receives healing from someone different using the opposite approach, then this could lead to an unfortunate misunderstanding. Because the law regarding the wellbeing of children is more strict, it is all the more important that the Healer fully explains to the person with legal responsibility for the child, exactly what is going to take place and to explain it also to the child, as far as is practical bearing in mind their age.In 1995 the NFSH agreed to revise its Code of Conduct relating to the permission to give healing to young persons to read: “It should be noted by all healers that it is illegal to give healing to a young person under the age of 18 without first obtaining the permission of the parent or guardian of the young person.Young people of 16 but below the age of 18 may request qualified medical attention for themselves but as healing is not recognised as qualified medical treatment the permission of a parent or guardian must be obtained before healing is given.” This was subsequently to be adopted by the Confederation of Healing organisation (CHO) and confirmed by the British Complementary Medicine Association (BCMA). The NFSH as well as all CHO affiliated organisations base their code of conduct on guidelines issued by the BCMA.

KENNETH LEEKS - Spiritual Healer

Legal Matters Giving Healing to children under 18

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