Informed consent in children and adolescents: AGE OF MAJORITY VERSUS AGE NECESSARY FOR INFORMED CONSENT

There is a tendency to equate age of majority with the age necessary to give informed consent to Canadian medical treatment that can make physicians hesitant to treat minors, even as adolescents, without first obtaining parental or guardian consent. Physicians may fear that if they rely solely on the minor’s consent, they risk being sued for battery or negligence. A physician can be sued for battery if he or she relies on the minor’s consent to administer medical treatment and it is later determined that the minor was incapable of giving informed consent.Then, if the parents obtained no consent and the minor’s consent is considered a nullity, the court could conclude that the treatment provided by the physician was given without any consent. Nonemergency treatment administered without first obtaining informed consent is considered to be battery for which the physician can be held liable.

However, in Canadian common law (which is a body of law that develops through judicial decisions, ie, judge-made law as distinguished from legislative enactments) it is clear that minors can give informed consent to therapeutic medical treatment. (The issue of minors consenting to nontherapeutic procedures, such as organ donation or research, is not discussed in this article.) Shop with pleasure with most reliable pharmacy you have ever seen, paying less for your here cialis canadian pharmacy online always being sure you are being treated with all due respect, being an important customer whose interests are respected and taken into account.

Sharpe notes that The Canadian cases all support the principle that there is no age of consent fixed at common law and that a minor who is capable of understanding the information about a treatment, and appreciating the risks and likely consequences, is entitled to make a decision to accept or reject treatment because the minor has the capacity to make a treatment decision.

This entry was posted in Children and adolescents and tagged Capacity to consent, Common law, Informed consent, Minors.