Consent for emergency medical services for children and adolescents

Jane F. Knapp, Margaret A. Dolan, Ronald A. Furnival, Barry W. Heath, Steven E. Krug, Deborah Mulligan-Smith, Lee A. Pyles, Richard M. Ruddy, Kathy N. Shaw, Timothy S. Yeh

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


Pediatric patients frequently seek medical treatment in the emergency department (ED) unaccompanied by a legal guardian. Current state and federal laws and medical ethics recommendations support the ED treatment of minors with an identified emergency medical condition, regardless of consent issues. Financial reimbursement should not limit the minor patient's access to emergency medical care or result in a breach of patient confidentiality. Every clinic, office practice, and ED should develop policies and guidelines regarding consent for the treatment of minors. The physician should document all discussions of consent and attempt to seek consent for treatment from the family or legal guardian and assent from the pediatric patient. Appropriate medical care for the pediatric patient with an urgent or emergent condition should never be withheld or delayed because of problems with obtaining consent.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)703-706
Number of pages4
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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