Victoria D. M. Gillick (née Gudgeon; born 1946 in Hendon) is a British campaigner best known for the eponymous 1985 UK House of Lords ruling that considered whether contraception could be prescribed to under-16s without parental consent or knowledge. The ruling established the term "Gillick competence" to describe whether a minor (below the age of 16) is able to consent to his or her own medical treatment, without the need for parental permission or knowledge.
A Roman Catholic and the mother of 10 children including five daughters, Gillick began her campaign in 1980 in response to a DHSS circular issuing guidance on contraceptive prescribing. After it was considered in lower courts, the House of Lords ruled that in some circumstances a minor could consent to treatment, and that in these circumstances a parent had no power to veto treatment.
In 2000, Gillick lost a libel action against the Brook Advisory Centres which she claimed accused her of being "morally responsible" for a rise in teenage pregnancies. Costs of £4,298.15 were awarded against her.
In 2002 she won an apology and damages amounting to £5000 and costs.
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