The Rights Of Medical Decision Making Essay

1822 Words May 5th, 2016 8 Pages
Minors Rights in Medical Decision making
As we grow up, we hear it time and time again... “When you’re an adult you can do whatever you want.” We heard it when we were driving our parents crazy about wanting to grow up just a little too fast. We are taught that in the eye of the law, we must wait until we hit our eighteenth birthday to do things like play the lottery, to move out, to vote, or to go to a club. We must be nineteen to buy cigarettes, 21 to drink alcohol, 25 to rent a car, but when we think about it more deeply and zoom in closer on the criminal justice system we see minors differently. In fact, According to legal experts the youngest person in modern U.S. history to be charged as an adult with first-degree murder was only 11 years old at the time he was sentenced (“Adult Time for Adult Crime”). That same eleven year old that will not get out of prison until he is a grown man, if at all, would not be able to consent to non-emergency medical care. A general practitioner in a non-emergency situation could not treat him without a parent or guardian giving the go-ahead.
It is important to first identify what rights that minors do have when it comes to their medical decisions and care. In every state, statutes regarding minor’s permission to consent for medical care depends on the child’s “status,” or on the “service” that they are seeking. Status in which a minor under the age of 18 can consent to medical care include cases in which a minor may be pregnant,…

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