Everyone needs emergency medical help sometimes, which rarely happens when we’re fully prepared. There are thousands of reasons a child might need adult consent, from standard procedures to emergencies and life-saving activities. Keeping these forms on hand is common practice for doctors’ offices and hospitals. We offer an easy-to-use, professionally created template you can personalize and reuse as often as needed. Hence, there’s never any question about whether the children under your care have parental consent to be there.
It’s easy to assume that a hospital or urgent care will ‘just handle it’ if your child comes in without you, but this isn’t always the case. A doctor may be able to save their life in an emergency, but they can’t set a broken bone without consent. In fact, hospitals can’t proceed with procedures and treatments without the proper forms signed. Keeping a few medical consent form templates on hand could save your child a lot of pain, suffering, and even permanent damage.
Pro Tip: You can place a copy of the Medical Consent Form in your child’s backpack, so they are aware of its existence. Additionally, it may be helpful to provide a sample copy of the form to your child’s school or the responsible teacher.
What Is a Medical Consent Form For Minor?
A medical consent form for a minor permits a doctor or medical facility to administer treatment and make medical decisions. These forms are standard for parents and guardians whether the child is getting a physical or a complicated inpatient surgery. For an agency to care for your child in non-life-threatening circumstances, they need specific consent from the adult or adults who are responsible for raising and protecting the child in question. Additionally, these documents communicate parental wishes for the treatment of minors, such as permission for vaccinations, blood transfusions, and even DNR orders in extreme cases.
When a Medical Consent Form For Minor is Needed?
There are three basic situations where medical consent for a minor is needed. While these are fairly predictable, we will discuss them below to help you determine when to send a medical consent form with your kids.
- When your child is in the temporary care of an adult who is not their parent or guardian, such as a visit to their grandparents, a school trip, or even a church outing
- If you want to provide an individual or entity limited consent to obtain medical care for your child
- Your child regularly spends time with an entity like a daycare center, school or an individual like a nanny.
Who Can Use a Medical Consent Form For Minor?
The people who get the most help from a medical consent form for a minor are the child and doctor, but numerous people in your life can use a medical consent form for a minor. In general, you can give one of these to any responsible adult in charge of your minor child when you are not present. However, the list here explains why certain people should have these forms on hand whenever they are with your child.
- Babysitters, Au Pairs, Caregivers, and Nannies- Whatever you call them, these are the people who typically care for younger children. At the same time, their parents work or attend other engagements need to be able to take an injured child to the hospital.
- Family Members- Unless your child’s grandparents, uncles and aunts, older siblings, and other family are also legal guardians; they will need a medical consent form to take your kid to a hospital if anything happens in their care.
- Friends of the Family- If your child spends a lot of time with any friend of the family, takes trips with the parents of a friend, or has another responsible adult who is in charge when you are not present, then that person would benefit from having a consent form on hand.
- Sports Coaches- Sports are a ton of fun, but they are also high-risk. Anyone running around, swinging equipment, or otherwise doing physical activities can fall and get injured.
- Teachers, Private Tutors, and Childcare Providers- Whether it’s a daycare, after-school programs, lessons away from home, or during a traditional school day, all of these adults could find themselves in a position where they need to seek emergency medical assistance for your minor.
- Club or Group Organizers or Leaders- Scout troop leaders and other away-from-home activity managers should have a medical consent form in case of accidents.
- Camp Councilors- Most camps provide a medical consent form, but it’s always a good idea to have your own on hand if your kids are going away for an overnight or a few weeks.
Giving the Medical Consent for a Child
Whoever brings your child to the hospital and maintains responsibility for them has the right to consent if you, as the parent or guardian, allow it. This means a family member, friend, or another adult can legally tell the doctor to set that broken bone or write a prescription for necessary medicine if they have a medical consent form. Whether on a school outing, vacation, or another place where you are not present, your child should always have a medical consent form. If you are unreachable for any reason, that form allows the hospital to help them at the direction of the responsible adult.
Giving the medical consent for a child involves specifically stating your consent and the limitations of that permission. For example, some families do not believe in artificially keeping a body alive if brain death occurs, and others prefer to save the life no matter the brain’s state. Without precise directions, a doctor cannot guess your preference. If you share custody, it’s a good idea to have the other parent or guardian sign and provide their information. Below are the steps for giving medical consent.
- Find the proper guardian. Having someone trustworthy and competent care for your child at all times is essential.
- Discuss the arrangement in advance. The other adult must also consent to be in charge of your child’s emergency health concerns.
- Inform them of any medications, concerns, medical history, and your wishes.
- Ensure that the agreement has a specific ending date, as many states require this information.
- Sign the form. When giving medical consent for a child, it is also a smart plan to have the documents notarized. You can save time by pre-printing and filling out several copies, but do not sign them immediately. You need to wait until you are in the notary’s presence before you sign, and only when they direct you. Parents or guardians should go to the notary together if you share custody.
How to Write
While we recommend using a professionally created template, we’ve also composed a list of all the items you need on your form if you choose to write it yourself. Below you will find an outline of every essential section you need and how to write them in the correct order on the page, and tips for clear, concise communication of your wishes and consent.
- Title the top of the page in large bold print.
- Include the contact information for all the adults, parents or guardians, and the temporary guardian.
- Add start and finish dates for the agreement.
- List the child’s medical history, including health concerns, medical conditions, allergies, blood type, birth of the child, jabs and current medications.
- Set the terms of your consent, which can include things like prohibiting the bearer from looking at the child’s medical history or refusing certain types of treatment.
- Create signature lines for printed names, signatures, and the date the form is signed.
- Remember not to fill out the actual signatures until a notary directs you.
You may have additional questions about creating a medical consent form for minors. Below we’ve answered the most frequently asked question people have about these unique and vital documents. You will find supplemental information about what doctors can do without parental consent, among other concer
An emancipated minor can consent to medical treatment at any age. However, for unemancipated minors who still have parents or guardians who must sign their medical forms, the exact age depends on which state and country you live in. In most places, a 14 to 16-year-old can consent to medical treatment without adult consent. However, there are still areas where an emancipated child can never sign their own medical consent so that the answer might be as old as 18. We recommend checking your current local laws or asking an attorney for more information.
Doctors can withhold information, but only in a few specific circumstances. If the child in question is emancipated, then the doctor not only can withhold that information, but they are required to do so as the adults have no legal right to make decisions, and patient confidentiality applies. However, in almost all other cases, a doctor can only withhold medical information from the parents when they reasonably believe there is a risk, such as neglect, abuse, or violence at home.
Doctors can override parents’ decisions, but usually, this only applies when the child’s life, quality of life, or ongoing health depends on countermanding a parental decision. For example, a doctor might perform a life-saving appendectomy rather than let a child die because of the parent’s objection. The parens patriae doctrine gives the state, and therefore some doctors, the right to intervene and perform the function of a caretaker if that role is not being sufficiently filled and there are issues of abuse or negligence.
Preparing a medical consent form for minors is a practical step you can take right away to ensure your child never goes without the help they need. Having copies on hand, ready for a few quick fill-ins, is a great way to bring yourself peace of mind. If you’re lucky, you’ll never have an emergency where you need one immediately, but you’ll probably need it at some point, regardless. When you use our professionally created templates, you never have to worry about tricky language, missing sections, or how to compose your own forms on the fly. Download the template, fill it out using Excel, MS Word, or a similar program, and print as many as you need. The signature, dates, and details can be added by hand as soon as you need the form completed.