EMS agencies should work with local youth activities to ensure they have made plans to contact parents, have provided consent to treatment forms or have other permissions in place for the children in their supervision.
In addition to these provisions for health care consent by 'emancipated' individuals, there are other statutory provisions for minors who are in military service or are seeking treatment for AIDS (PHL § 2781) and other sexually transmitted diseases (PHL § 2305).
It is the purpose of this policy to clarify the legal issues surrounding consent to medical care and/or the refusal of care by minors in the pre-hospital EMS setting.
Emergency Medical Services (EMS)providers are often presented with patients who are considered by law to be minors.
Unfortunately, these do not impact health care decisions including the ability to consent or refuse care in the prehospital setting.
An individual who is legally a minor cannot give effective legal/informed consent to treatment and therefore, conversely, cannot legally refuse treatment. Fully document all circumstances including subjective and objective findings, attempts to contact parents, note any objections or refusals by the patient and all other pertinent situational facts. Always consider contacting medical control for assistance.