who can sign patient informed consent?

  1. 0
    Statutory Guidelines for Legal Consent for Medical Treatment:
    Those who consent to medical treatment are governed by state law but generally include the following:
    I Adults
    A. Any competent individual 18 years of age or older for himself or herself
    B. Any parent for his or her unemancipated minor
    C. Any guardian for his or her ward
    D. Any adult for the treatment of his or her minor brother or sister (if an emergency and parents are not present)
    E. Any grandparent for a minor grandchild (if an emergency and parents are not present)
    II Minors
    A. For his or her child and any child in his or her legal custody
    B. For himself or herself in the following situations:
    1. Lawfully married or a parent (emancipated)
    2. Pregnancy (excluding abortions)
    3. Venereal disease
    4. Drug or substance abuse
    C. Unemancipated minors may not consent to abortions without one of the following:
    1. Consent of one parent
    2. Self-consent granted by court order
    3. Consent specifically given by a court

    my question is can a 16 yrs old child sign consent form for hir or her parents?
    Last edit by JustBeachyNurse on Feb 17, '13 : Reason: formatting/spacing
  2. 12 Comments so far...

  3. 4
    No, as a minor, a 16 year old cannot sign consent for a parent. If the parent is unable to sign, the order is usually: POA (if there is one), spouse, parent, sibling. For those who don't have any of those and are unable to sign their own consent, the court can appoint someone to act on the patient's behalf. In the case of emergency, implied consent is used. Say someone comes in unconscious with a gunshot to the chest, is actively dying, and will die without surgical intervention. That patient is taken into surgery without a signed consent form. This is why it is important for everyone to set up a health care POA.

    From: Chapter 1 - Preventive Law in the Medical Environment - THE EMERGENCY EXCEPTION

    The legal requirement for obtaining consent before the rendering of medical care has always been tempered by the privilege to render emergency medical care without the patient's consent. This privilege is based on the theory of implied consent. The law assumes that an unconscious patient would consent to emergency care if the patient were conscious and able to consent. This is a "reasonable man" standard; that is the law assumes that reasonable person would want medical care in an emergency. The assumption of "reasonable" behavior is allowed only if the patient has not put the health care providers on notice that the patient refuses care. The health care providers may rely upon implied consent only in the absence of consent. Implied consent can never overrule the explicit rejection of medical care. This is very important for certain religious groups and can cause a great deal of confusion in an emergency room. There should be an explicit protocol to deal with persons with objections to medical care (as discussed later in this chapter).
    tewdles, Trang5891, Sun0408, and 1 other like this.
  4. 2
    The simple answer is no. A minor cannot consent for their adult parent (or sibling)
    Trang5891 and Sun0408 like this.
  5. 0
    So a minor cannot sign a informed consent for his or her parents even he or she is 18 or older. Can anyone explain Part II/B on my post above for me? I quite do not understand. Thank you!
  6. 0
    Quote from Trang5891
    So a minor cannot sign a informed consent for his or her parents even he or she is 18 or older.
    A minor is someone who is under the age of 18 (unless laws where you live say differently). Therefore, someone who is 18 is at the age of majority and may sign consent for his or her parents. It has to do with being legally recognized as an adult.

    Quote from Trang5891
    Can anyone explain Part II/B on my post above for me? I quite do not understand. Thank you!
    From Wikipedia: "An emancipated minor is a minor who is allowed to conduct a business or any other occupation on his or her own behalf or for their own account outside the influence of a parent or guardian. The minor will then have full contractual capacity to conclude contract with regard to the business. Whether parental consent is needed to achieve the "emancipated" status varies from case to case. In some cases, court permission is necessary. Protocols vary by jurisdiction.Emancipation of minors is a legal mechanism by which a minor is freed from control by his or her parents or guardians, and the parents or guardians are freed from any and all responsibility toward the child. Until an emancipation is granted by a court, a minor is still subject to the rules of their parents or guardians. In some cases, emancipation can be granted without due court granting when the minor is bound to make a decision for themselves in the absence of their parents (who may be already dead or who may have abandoned the minor)."

    Basically, an emancipated minor is no longer a dependent of his or her parents and may make legal decisions. Many states automatically emancipate someone under the age of 18 who is married (often the marriage itself requires parental permission) or who has a child. Most states also allow a minor to obtain STI services, reproductive health care, and drug addiction services without also requiring parental permission.
  7. 0
    Quote from Trang5891
    So a minor cannot sign a informed consent for his or her parents even he or she is 18 or older. Can anyone explain Part II/B on my post above for me? I quite do not understand. Thank you!
    An 18 year old is not a minor.

    Part IIB in your OP refers to situations in which minors are allowed to provide consent for themselves. A minor who is married or who has had a baby is considered emancipated and can provide consent for themselves. A 16 yr old who has had a baby is the baby's legal guardian (unless the state has granted guardianship of the child to someone else) and is the one to sign consent when the baby needs medical treatment. Minors are allowed to provide consent for treatment of alcohol and drug related issues and STDs under the law because the law wants to protect them. Sexual health problems are confidential and providers will work with the adolescent to treat something like chlamydia without informing the patient's parents.

    Now, where did you find the information in your OP? I believe a lot of this varies by state, especially when it comes to abortion. I know that minors are allowed to seek treatment for STDs and mental health problems in my state (I believe 16 year olds for the latter category) without parental involvement and my state does require parental notification in the case of abortion, but I know that that's definitely something that varies.
  8. 0
    In your original question you asked if a 16 year old child could sign the consent for his/her parent.. that answer would be No. Someone 18 or older is not a child and can sign.. Did you mean to say 18 in your original question?
  9. 0
    Unless it is a state where 19 is the age of majority, like Nebraska, an18 year old can legally sign consent on behalf of their incapacitated parent (though medication, injury,illness, etc). Though a spouse is first choice. When my father was critically ill, my adult sister and I alternated giving consents on his behalf so that my mother could sleep without disruption.
  10. 2
    These laws/regulations may vary from state to state. OP needs to refer to the regs for a specific state.
    tewdles and elkpark like this.
  11. 0
    the instances listed by OP only allow minors to give consent for themself, under specific circumstances.


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