Occasionally it is difficult to get in touch with the parents/guardians of a minor (i.e. a child under the age of 18 years) in an emergency situation.  This means that if the parents/guardians cannot be contacted, then there may be a delay in giving their child necessary medical treatment or they may not have a say in what medical treatment is given (or is not given) to their child. In such situations, you should use a medical treatment consent.

A medical treatment consent, which gives a third party permission to authorise medical treatment on behalf of the parents/guardians of the child, can prevent serious delays and enables the parents/guardians to have a say in what medical treatment is given (or is not given) to their child.  This document may be required, for example, when a child is being looked after by a babysitter, nanny, family member or friend and the child’s parents/guardians are out of town or otherwise unavailable.  This document is particularly important where a person’s religious or personal beliefs prohibit certain types of medical treatment or where existing medication being taken by the child needs to be recorded to ensure that it does not react to any other medical treatment that may be undertaken in an emergency situation.

Where the child has two legal guardians, both legal guardians should sign the consent (in this case, please use “Medical Treatment Consent – From Two Guardians”).

Where the child has only one legal guardian (because, for example, the other legal guardian has died or the family court has ordered that only one parent is to be the child’s legal guardian), only that legal guardian needs to sign the appointment (in this case, please use “Medical Treatment Consent – From a Sole Guardian”).

In addition to preparing a medical treatment consent, the parents/guardians should communicate with any third parties who may be looking after their child to ensure that they are aware of any medication being taken by their child and understand what medical treatment is permitted and in what circumstances.

Conclusion

If you’re in need of legal advice regarding a consent for medical treatment, contact our expert lawyers at LegalVision on 1300 544 755.

Lachlan McKnight

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