Informed consent - realistic examples for today's society

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As we have learned from many well-informed, thoughtful, and highly educated, academicians, legal theorists, and others, children are incapable of giving informed consent to engaging in sexual activity with adults. Children lack the cognitive ability to make such decisions, and can never fully understand the consequences of engaging in sexual activity with an adult. Children, therefore, are protected against potential physical and psychological harms which could occur from having sex with adults.

When engaging in many daily activities, children are very often physically and psychologically injured, or even killed. These children have consented to engaging in these activities, though they have given only "simple consent" to engage in these activities, not "informed consent". Children must also be protected against potential physical and psychological harms which could occur from engaging in these activities as well. Children must be required to give fully informed consent, rather than just simple consent when engaging in potentially harmful activities.

The following are some examples of situations where an innocent child should be required to to give informed consent, due to the potential for harms, along with suggestions of the necessary advisories.

1) A mother says to her minor child, "Would you like to go to the park?" The child gives (simple) consent, "Yeah!".

  • At this point, the mother must advise the child of the full risks of engaging in the activity of "going to the park," so that the child may give fully informed consent.
  • "Well, Johnny, I must tell you a few things, first, before you answer 'yes':
    • we will be going to the park by car, and I will be driving
    • I had an argument with your father before he left for work, which has left me upset. This may impair my ability to drive safely, and increase the risk of our being involved in an automobile accident
    • I am hungry, so this may impair my ability to drive safely, and increase the risk of our being involved in an automobile accident
    • I have only been licensed to drive for 5 years, so the risk of our being involved in an automobile accident is relatively high compared to those who have greater driving experience
      • if the car I am driving, and which you are a passenger in, is involved in an automobile accident, then:
        • you may suffer physical injury
          • if you suffer physical injury, you may require medical treatment
            • if you require medical treatment, you risk being improperly treated, which may exacerbate your injuries
            • if you require medical treatment, you may be disfigured
              • if you are disfigured, you may be subject to ridicule, teasing, and other forms of bullying at school
              • if you are disfigured, you may be crippled, and unable to walk or to perform otherwise normal activities
      • if the car I am driving, and which you are a passenger in, is involved in an automobile accident, then also:
        • you may develop psychological problems
          • you may suffer from "post-traumatic distress syndrome"
            • you may have difficulties sleeping
              • you may have nightmares
              • you may begin to wet your bed again
              • you may have difficulties trusting me, or any other adult in the future
                • this may affect your ability to form long-term, trusting relationships with others
                  • you may experience difficulties later in life "having sex" (I'll tell you what "sex" is when you're a bit older.)
                • these difficulties may require long-term psychological treatment, perhaps for the rest of your life
          • you may develop an aversion or phobia regarding cars, or being driven in a car
            • this may require long-term psychological treatment, perhaps for the rest of your life
    • Our car produces air pollution, which harms the environment.
    • While in the car, you will be exposed to the pollution produced by other cars, which may cause asthma, emphysema, or other lung diseases
  • "OK, Johnny, do you understand fully the risks I have outlined above?"
  • "Uh..."
  • "If you do not fully understand the risks involved, then we cannot drive to the park."
  • "Mom, I think I just wanna stay home and play with my PlayStation..."

2) A father asks his son, "Would you like to play on our local Little League baseball team?

  • At this point, the father must advise the child of the full risks of engaging in the activity of "playing on our local Little League baseball team," so that the child may give fully informed consent.
  • "Well, Johnny, I must tell you a few things, first, before you answer 'yes'...

See also

External links