Consent requirements in the case of adults who are legally unable to give informed consent
Based on a published verdict of the Regional Disciplinary Tribunal, the general and special regulations in the Law Governing Medical Treatment Agreements (in Dutch: WGBO) with respect to informed consent are discussed. Patients 16 years and older give consent themselves, after having been informed about treatment; patients from 12 to 16 give their consent together with their parents and parents give consent for patients under 12. Only in cases of patients 18 years or older who are practically (for example, due to coma) or legally (for example, due to guardianship) unable to give consent, do the responsibilities defined in the WGBO have to be carried out by the guardian, the mentor, the partner or the next of kin. It would seem reasonable that in all cases of irreversible dental treatments the express consent is obtained from the legally responsible.