Sex, consent and intellectual disability

Eastgate, Gillian (2005) Sex, consent and intellectual disability. Australian Family Physician, 34 3: 163-166.

Author Eastgate, Gillian
Title Sex, consent and intellectual disability
Journal name Australian Family Physician   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0300-8495
Publication date 2005-03
Sub-type Article (original research)
Volume 34
Issue 3
Start page 163
End page 166
Total pages 4
Place of publication Sydney, Australia
Publisher Royal Australian College of General Practitioners
Subject 1117 Public Health and Health Services
Formatted abstract
Background: People with intellectual disability, as well as people with dementia or mental health disability, are vulnerable to sexual abuse and may lack the capacity to give valid consent to medical treatment. Their reproductive choices may be limited by their support needs, by social pressures or by sterilisation at a young age.
Objective: This article uses case vignettes to illustrate key areas in dealing with sexual and reproductive health, and consent issues for people with intellectual disability. It also provides brief guidelines for assessing capacity to consent, and procedures to follow when there is no, or uncertain, capacity.
Discussion: People with intellectual disability require education to help them resist abuse, and advocacy to ensure that their environment protects them. They require support and education when making reproductive choices and health care decisions. In cases where they do not have the capacity for informed consent, a substitute decision maker is required.

Keyword Contraception
Down Syndrome
Family Practice
Informed consent
Mental competency
Mentally disabled persons
Patient education
Sex offenses
Sexual behavior
Q-Index Code C1

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) - Collection
School of Medicine Publications
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Citation counts: Scopus Citation Count Cited 0 times in Scopus Article
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Created: Tue, 13 Apr 2010, 10:04:18 EST by June Temby on behalf of Faculty Of Health Sciences