Don’t Cut Parents Out of Medical Decisions for Teens (HB 1503, 2018)

Cornerstone Action strongly opposes HB 1503, authorizing minors 16 years of age or older to independently consent to medical procedures. Such an attack on parental involvement is poor public policy. Nothing in the bill would improve the health of 16- and 17-year-olds. Furthermore, passage of HB 1503 would be inconsistent with existing law regarding procedures to which minors may consent.

Consider the consequences of the bill for parents. Nothing in the bill addresses their interests, rights, or responsibilities.

Will HB 1503 hold parents harmless from any criminal charge or administrative sanction arising from a procedure obtained by a minor child without parental consent?

Would a parent be financially responsible for procedures to which minors consent?

Would a parent be legally responsible for post-procedure care or monitoring?

Assuming a parent were notified about a procedure, even if consent was not an issue, would the parent have a legal responsibility to advise the health care provider about a minor’s known allergies or pre-existing conditions?

If the minor were to fail to adhere to medical advice regarding post-procedure care and then sustains an untoward result, what would be the parent’s role under HB 1503?

Suppose a minor consents to a medical procedure, and suppose the parent is notified but does not want the procedure to take place. Would the parent be entitled to any recourse or hearing?

Finally, please remember that in 2015, the legislature passed, and Governor signed, a law prohibiting tanning facilities from tanning persons under 18 years of age. Consent by the minor is not a factor when it comes to tanning. Yet under HB 1503, the same minor lacking the legal capacity to consent to a tanning session would be able to consent to a non-elective medical procedure such as cosmetic surgery. That makes no sense.

Please give HB 1503 the “Inexpedient to Legislate” vote it deserves.


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