What Should You Do if a Minor Arrives for a Doctor’s Appointment – With No Parent?

July 5, 2022

Do you treat patients who are minors? If so, you are bound to receive a request for treatment directly from one of these individuals – and they might do so without the consent of their parent or legal guardian.
This situation can occur due to an emergency, or a minor may simply visit your office for a routine matter with no parent or guardian.
If minors are a part or all of your patient base, it is critical to have a solid understanding of the laws and requirements in the state in which you practice in order for you to handle these situations appropriately. Failing to do so may expose you to liability and other risks.
While it has long been understood that you must first obtain consent before treating a patient, it can become complicated when treating minors.
ISMIE’s resource on minors covers these issues as well as other related professional liability risks and offers strategies for mitigating those risks. Other topics include caring for minor children of divorced and separated parents and child abuse reporting.
If you have questions, please contact the Risk Management Division by email.
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