The Mature Minor Doctrine: A Case Analysis

1563 Words6 Pages
Do you think the treating physicians should have obtained George's consent? No the physicians should have first received George's consent prior to any "Do not resuscitate" order being issued. George, at 17 does have the right, under the mature minor doctrine to determine his own wellbeing. However, that does mean the physicians needed his consent. Since, his parents had cared for George throughout his life, they had the right to subsequently accept or neglect care. The doctrine, which in many states is now law, states that minors can give consent to medical procedures if they can show that they are mature enough to make a decision on their own. For example, the statute in Arkansas states the following, "any emancipated minor of sufficient intelligence to understand and appreciate the consequences of the proposed surgical or medical treatment or procedures, for himself may offer consent (Abrams, 2003)." The mature minor doctrine has been consistently applied in similar cases to that of George. In many of these instances the minor was sixteen years or older, understood the primary benefits or consequences of the medical procedure in question, and the overall procedure was one of a routine nature. In regards to informed consent, the mature minor doctrine requires the physician or other healthcare provider to make determinations on a case by case basis. The physician should employ the same criteria used to determine the ability of an adult to consent whose decisional
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