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Informed Consent

What is an informed consent form?

Before surgery, your child's healthcare provider will carefully explain the procedure and its risks. You will be asked to sign an informed consent document. It states in detail that you understand the risks and benefits of your child's surgery, including refusing the treatment. Before you sign the form, be sure all of your questions are answered. Write down your questions so you won't forget them. Also write down any answers you get to those questions so you can go back and review them.

Who may sign the informed consent?

One or both parents usually sign for a minor child. A minor child is one who is younger than 18 years of age. But if the minor child is living with a legal guardian, the legal guardian can sign. First, legal guardians will be asked to show proof that this legal relationship exists.

Teens and informed consent forms

Parental (or legal guardian) consent is needed for any tests or procedures on a person under the age of 18. Because teens are able to contribute to informed decisions about their health and the treatment they will get, they should be included in discussions about surgery. The issues and laws governing confidentiality and informed consent with adolescents are complex and vary from state to state. As with adults, all of their questions need to be answered before the consent form is signed. Suggest they write down their questions and answers so they won't forget them. Some older teens also like to sign the consent form for surgery with their parents.

Emancipated minors

An emancipated minor is a minor who has become a legal adult. An emancipated minor may consent to their own medical care. The definition of an emancipated minor is determined by individual state laws.