Guidelines: Consent Issues for Minors


The treatment of all persons will be in accordance with laws 
relating to informed consent, consistent with the age and 
personal status of the patient.  Persons failing to meet the 
criteria of adulthood shall be treated only with the consent 
of a parent or legal guardian unless the minor patient falls 
into one of several designated categories as described in the 
procedures below. 
1.  In case of an actual emergency, regardless of the status 
    of a patient, consent is implied.
2.  Minors receiving pregnancy care: Any minor, regardless
    of age or marital status, may personally consent for 
    hospital, medical and/or surgical care related to her 
3.  Minors living away from home (Emancipated Minor): Any 
    minor, who has been declared an emancipated minor by the 
    courts and who offers proof of such a declaration, may 
    personally consent for hospital, medical and/or surgical 
4.  Minors over the age of 15 and who are financially 
    responsible for self may personally consent for hospital,
    medical and/or surgical care.
5.  Minors on active duty with the US Armed Forces: Any 
    minor, regardless of age, serving on active duty with
    any branch of the US Armed Forces, may personally
    consent for hospital, medical and/or surgical care
    without having to obtain parental or guardian consent.
6.  Minors suffering from a reportable disease: When a minor 
    has a communicable disease of the type which must be 
    reported to the local health officer, he/she is able to 
    give valid consent for treatment relating to this 
    reportable disease.
    [The parent or legal guardian incurs no legal obligation 
    to pay in this case, unless the parent has personally 
7.  Minors who have allegedly been raped or sexually 
    assaulted: Minors 12 years of age or older, who have 
    allegedly been raped or sexually assaulted, may 
    personally give consent for treatment.
8.  Minors with a drug or alcohol related problem: Minors 12 
    years of age or older may consent to the furnishing of 
    medical and/or surgical care or counseling, related to 
    the diagnosis or treatment of a problem related to 
    substance abuse.
9.  Minors with divorced parents: The consent of either 
    parent is sufficient.  In the event of a conflict, the 
    parent having legal custody has the final authority.
10. Non-abandoned minors whose parents are unavailable: 
    This situation arises when the minor is away from home   
    or in the custody or care of a law enforcement agency, a 
    school camp, a sitter, a foster home, of foster parents 
    pending adoption, etc.  In the absence of a bona fide 
    emergency, only the parent or legal guardian can give a 
    valid consent. If the parent/legal guardian has
    consented in writing that the person caring for, or
    otherwise with custody of, the minor can give consent,
    such authorization shall be accepted.


Approved By Governing Board
Control #20.2