Family law Who can make medical decisions for a minor child?
Who is a minor child? <ul><li>Anyone who is 17 years old or younger </li></ul><ul><li>Exception: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ E...
Who is permitted to make medical decisions for a minor child? <ul><li>Natural (i.e., biological) parents </li></ul><ul><ul...
Who is permitted to make medical decisions for a minor child? <ul><li>Either parent, when they are separated or divorced a...
Who is permitted to make medical decisions for a minor child? <ul><li>Legal guardian </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A legal guardia...
Who is permitted to make medical decisions for a minor child? <ul><li>Stand-by guardian </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A person app...
Who is permitted to make medical decisions for a minor child? <ul><li>Department of Social Services </li></ul><ul><ul><li>...
Who is permitted to make medical decisions for a minor child? <ul><li>Legal custodian </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Anyone who has...
Who is permitted to make medical decisions for a minor child? <ul><li>A person who has been appointed by the parent (or ot...
Who is permitted to make medical decisions for a minor child? <ul><li>The minor, for </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Contraception <...
When may a physician provide information to a minor’s parent? <ul><li>Physician is prohibited from notifying parent (or ot...
Who is NOT permitted to make health care decisions for a minor? <ul><li>A parent whose parental rights have been terminate...
Ways to establish decision-making power in a non-parent <ul><li>Parent gives another adult a power of attorney to make dec...
When can a physician treat a minor without consent? <ul><li>Adult with authority cannot be located when minor needs treatm...
Additional information <ul><li>Health Care for Pregnant Adolescents – A Legal Guide for Health Care Providers </li></ul><u...
Medical-Legal Partnership  <ul><li>New Website: </li></ul><ul><li>http:// www.law.duke.edu/partnershipforchildren/index.ht...
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Family law

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Family law

  1. 1. Family law Who can make medical decisions for a minor child?
  2. 2. Who is a minor child? <ul><li>Anyone who is 17 years old or younger </li></ul><ul><li>Exception: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Emancipated minor” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A 16 or 17-year-old who has obtained an order of emancipation from a district court judge </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Married </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Serving in the armed forces </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Emancipated minors are treated as adults and are no longer under the supervision/control of their parents </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Who is permitted to make medical decisions for a minor child? <ul><li>Natural (i.e., biological) parents </li></ul><ul><ul><li>This includes children conceived by artificial insemination </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Adoptive parents </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Either parent in an “intact” family has the right to make medical decisions and consent to treatment; exceptions exist when parents are separated or divorced. </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Who is permitted to make medical decisions for a minor child? <ul><li>Either parent, when they are separated or divorced and there is no custody order </li></ul><ul><li>The parent given the right to make decisions in any legal custody order </li></ul><ul><li>An adult who is standing in place of parent, by having taken on parental obligations, particularly the burden of support </li></ul>
  5. 5. Who is permitted to make medical decisions for a minor child? <ul><li>Legal guardian </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A legal guardian for a minor must be appointed by the Clerk of Court </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A legal guardian may be appointed only when there are no natural or adoptive parents alive </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No legal validity to a parent “giving” guardianship to another adult </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Who is permitted to make medical decisions for a minor child? <ul><li>Stand-by guardian </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A person appointed to “stand by” to assert parental authority in a case when the parent has a seriously chronic or terminal illness </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Appointment must be made by the Clerk of Court </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Can exist in situation where a natural parent is living </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Who is permitted to make medical decisions for a minor child? <ul><li>Department of Social Services </li></ul><ul><ul><li>If DSS has removed the child from the home and obtained a court order making it the legal custodian, but only for routine or emergency medical or surgical care or treatment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If the child has no parents or has been abandoned, until the appointment of a legal guardian </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Foster parent, if DSS has authorized </li></ul><ul><li>Note: Parents retain right to consent to elective care, even if child is in DSS custody </li></ul>
  8. 8. Who is permitted to make medical decisions for a minor child? <ul><li>Legal custodian </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Anyone who has a court order granting that person custody of the minor child </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Grandparent </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Other relative </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Non relative </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>For someone other than parent to be given custody, parent must be shown to have acted in a way that is contrary to his right to care and control of the child </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Who is permitted to make medical decisions for a minor child? <ul><li>A person who has been appointed by the parent (or other person with the right to make health care decisions for the child) to make decisions </li></ul><ul><li>Health Care Power of Attorney for a Minor is a formal document; informal documents are valid </li></ul><ul><li>Exception: a parent may not delegate the power to consent to the withholding or withdrawal of life sustaining procedures </li></ul>
  10. 10. Who is permitted to make medical decisions for a minor child? <ul><li>The minor, for </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Contraception </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Treatment of STD’s </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Abuse of controlled substances or alcohol </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Emotional disturbance </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pregnancy and prenatal care </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Care for the minor’s child </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Abortion, but only when accompanied by consent from appropriate adult, unless such consent is waived by a court </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. When may a physician provide information to a minor’s parent? <ul><li>Physician is prohibited from notifying parent (or other adult allowed to consent) of provision of medical services if minor is permitted to consent to them -- </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Except, when in the opinion of the physician, notification is “essential to the life or health of the minor.” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Physician may share information, in his/her discretion, with the parent (or other adult) if the physician is contacted by the parent. </li></ul>
  12. 12. Who is NOT permitted to make health care decisions for a minor? <ul><li>A parent whose parental rights have been terminated by the court </li></ul><ul><li>A parent whose custodial rights to make decisions have been taken away by court order </li></ul><ul><li>A step-parent, unless the step parent has taken on parental obligations, particularly support </li></ul>
  13. 13. Ways to establish decision-making power in a non-parent <ul><li>Parent gives another adult a power of attorney to make decisions </li></ul><ul><li>Non-parent adult obtains custody </li></ul><ul><li>Seek establishment of legal guardianship if parents are deceased </li></ul>
  14. 14. When can a physician treat a minor without consent? <ul><li>Adult with authority cannot be located when minor needs treatment; </li></ul><ul><li>Identity of minor is unknown; </li></ul><ul><li>Efforts to locate adult would cause delay that would seriously worsen condition or be life-threatening </li></ul><ul><li>Parent refuses treatment and two physicians conclude that withholding treatment would endanger child’s life or seriously worsen his condition </li></ul>
  15. 15. Additional information <ul><li>Health Care for Pregnant Adolescents – A Legal Guide for Health Care Providers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>http://www.adolescentpregnancy.unc.edu/pdf/HCP91901.pdf </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Medical-Legal Partnership <ul><li>New Website: </li></ul><ul><li>http:// www.law.duke.edu/partnershipforchildren/index.html </li></ul>
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