Medical Consent for MinorsMarch 1, 2019
In the state of Maryland, a parent must provide consent if their child requires any type of medical treatment or surgical procedure. This includes a range of medical procedures from plastic surgery, mental health counselling, and blood donations to abortions and tattoos. However, there are circumstances where a minor is not required to obtain parental consent, including situations where the child’s health and safety is compromised. If the child was injured in any way, and the medical professional responsible for their care failed to obtain parental consent for a situation that warranted it, the parents may want to file a medical malpractice lawsuit.
If the child’s parents are unavailable due to certain family hardships, a relative may give consent for their medical care, which is known as informal kinship care. To be able to give consent, the relative that is responsible for the child must confirm that the informal kinship care exists between the person and the child. In addition, the court must be able to confirm that custody of the child was not awarded to someone else.
Exceptions to the Parental Consent Law
Parents are responsible for their children’s health, welfare, and education until they reach the age of 18. However, the following are examples of conditions where a minor may consent to medical treatment:
- The minor is married and/or has a child.
- There is a medical emergency and waiting for parental consent could result in further harm.
- The minor is seeking advice or treatment related to drugs or alcohol abuse, a sexually transmitted disease, contraception, or pregnancy.
- The minor is seeking treatment for an alleged rape or an act of sexual abuse
- The minor requires a physical exam after being sent to a detention center.
Exceptions also apply if the minor plans to have an abortion. Parental consent is not necessary under the following circumstances:
- The minor does not live with the parents, and the doctor has not been able to reach them.
- Notifying the parents could jeopardize the child’s safety.
- The doctor believes that the minor is mature enough to give consent.
- The child does not need parental consent to give a child up for adoption.
When it comes to seeking treatment for mental health issues, children under the age of 16 must have parental consent. However, children 16 years of age or older may consent to a consultation, diagnosis, and treatment by a mental health professional. However, if the parent already gave consent, and the child is under the age of 18, the minor may not refuse the consultation, diagnosis, or treatment that was approved.
Baltimore Medical Malpractice Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Advocate for Those Harmed by Medical Negligence
If you have been injured while under the care of a healthcare professional who failed to obtain the proper consent before proceeding with treatment, you are urged to contact the Baltimore medical malpractice lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton. We will investigate the details of your case and determine whether your healthcare provider was negligent in any way. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.
Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, and Towson, allowing us to represent medical malpractice victims in Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Prince George’s County, Queen Anne’s County, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.