Doctors must do more to respect the wishes and views of young patients, the General Medical Council has warned.
Children should be involved directly in discussions about their care and given the same rights to confidentiality as adults, new guidance recommends.
It comes after a consultation found children do not always feel doctors take them seriously.
However, the guidelines say doctors have a duty to inform others if there is any indication of serious harm.
This is the first time the GMC has specifically laid out the roles and responsibilities of doctors when treating those under the age of 18 years - accounting for over a fifth of the UK population.
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