Term Paper: Minor Consent to Medical Treatment

Pages: 6 (2354 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 6  ·  Level: Master's  ·  Topic: Healthcare  ·  Buy This Paper

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[. . .] " (Dugas, 1998) This change also allows an unemancipated minor to contract in Louisiana. Looking at the "dollar amounts spent yearly by minors and the large number of minors in the workforce suggest that young persons can and do contract daily. The code itself recognizes that unemancipated minor's contract, and a series of articles deal specifically with this area." (Dugas, 1998)

Thus even unemancipated minor, rather than being unable to contract, in fact has "the sword of contract and the shield of nullity." (Grodin; Glantz, 1994) The provisions of capacity now makes it possible for minors in general terms to enter into contracts and in special circumstances their consent is valid in medical services. The other laws would also follow suit, for example abandonment. Where a person is abandoned by the doctor, (even if the person is not capable of contracting), in all the cases, where even a mentally unstable person was treated, the contract exists. Thus in a case of abandonment of a mental patient (who may not contracts) it was held that Brandt V Grubin, (1974, p84) as a failure to give the necessary care by a professional and withdrawing care before the need is fulfilled and the care giver is not relieved. (Grodin; Glantz, 1994)

Thus in a case of a mental health patient, erroneous termination before the cure or stability occurs may lead to danger and thus a suit for damages. It is not only that the practitioner abandoned the patient or that he or she withdrew from the relationship before the purpose of the care was completed, but a negligent handling of the patient care could also be abandonment if such care was withdrawn or done negligently. (Madden, 1998) Thus the laws have changed to accommodate contracts by minors -- with knowledgeable consent. This was further emphasized by the U.S. Supreme court in Planned parenthood of Missouri vs. Danforth (1976) ruled that the law in Missouri that required minors to obtain consent of the parent prior to an abortion was unconstitutional because the court observed that "constitutional rights came with the child and does not 'magically appear when one became a major'." (Grodin; Glantz, 1994)

Thus minors have the same constitutional rights as adults. And in this case the court upheld the decision in Younts V St. Francis Hospital and approved of knowledgeable consent by the minor in certain cases. The law thus as of now is that if a minor consents and shows the maturity enough to understand and further has been emancipated, the doctor can at on the contract, and where the minor is under a parent, consent of the parent may be require for procedures still. Some cases as mentioned, drug addiction, abortions etc. are exempt, but other wise patent all concurrence may be necessary.

Where not applicable:

One rule that has been made law is the § 15-11-112 - Notice of abortion on unemancipated minor; hearing where it has been promulgated that a doctor may not perform an abortion on an unemancipated minor under the age of 18 years unless accompanied by a parent or guardian and that such parent or guardian has been notified that an abortion is to be performed on the minor; with 24 hours' actual notice and the minor signs a consent form stating that she consents, freely and without coercion, to the abortion. (O.C.G.A, 2010)

Thus without complying these rules no abortion shall be performed on a minor in the custody of a parent. However as of now it does not apply to uemancipated minors who are free to act on their own. Thus there are misty areas of law where the consent could be legal and where it could be dangerous. The rule of thumb is to try and get parents concurrence as far as possible, or to see if the minor's case fall within the exceptions cited and then proceed.

Conclusion

Still by law of contracts the minor is prohibited from entering a contract because of the principle that minors are doli incapax but this now applies to unemancipated minors medically minors in general terms may enter to contract on cases where they are emancipated, or are falling under the categories stated in the sections of this paper.

References

Dugas, Melvin John. (1998) "Comment: The Contractual Capacity Of Minors: A Survey Of

The Prior Law And The New Articles" Tulane Law Review, 62 Tul. L. Rev. 745.

Grodin, Michael A; Glantz, Leonard H. (1994) "Children As Research Subjects: Science,

Ethics, and Law: Science, Ethics, and Law Program in Medical Ethics Boston University Schools of Medicine and Public Health" Oxford University Press.

Madden, Robert G. (1998) "Legal Issues in Social Work, Counselling, and Mental Health:

Guidelines for Clinical Practice in Psychotherapy" SAGE.

O.C.G.A. (2010) "Notice of abortion on unemancipated minor; hearing" Retrieved 29

March, 2013 from http://statutes.laws.com/georgia/title-15/chapter-11/article-3/15-11-112

Patha, Akhileshwar. (2008) "Legal Aspects Of Business 3E"

Tata Mc Graw Hill Publishing.

Pozgar, George D. (2009) "Legal Essentials of Health Care Administration" Jones & Bartlett

Publishers.

Supreme Court of Kansas. (1970) "Younts v. St. Francis Hospital & School… [END OF PREVIEW]

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