A Brief Introduction About the Medical Consent Form Agreement
In the absence of a minor’s legal guardian or parents, someone has to take medical or healthcare decisions for the kids. However, authorities can’t allow just anyone to make those important and critical decisions. Hence, a legal document called the Medical Consent Form is required. The form enables any other caregivers or temporary guardians to make such decisions for the kids.
In most cases, the temporary caregivers can be relatives such as grandparents, aunts, uncles or teachers, babysitters, sports coaches, daycares, etc.
If a kid or minor is traveling with his relative who is not a legal guardian, then the Child Travel Consent Form only allows the kid to travel easily. It doesn’t allow the person traveling along with the kid to make medical decisions from him. Medical Consent Form then comes in the fore. The temporary guardian needs to have a Medical Consent Form as well signed by the kid’s legal guardians.
Other names for the Medical Consent Form are Child Medical Consent Form, Consent for Medical Treatment of a Minor, Parental Medical Consent Form, and Medical Authorization Form for Child.
Who Takes the Medical Consent Form Agreement? – People Involved
The minor’s legal guardian gives consent for taking healthcare decisions for the minor. Without the signature of the parents, This won’t be considered a legally binding document. At least one parent should sign the form.
Apart from parents, other very important person involved in the form would be the person taking the consent. Grandparents, relatives, close friends, school teachers, sports coaches, babysitter, etc. are the most common individuals who receive this consent.
[Also Read: Nanny Contract]
Purpose of the Medical Consent Form Agreement – Why Do You Need It?
Parents can’t always accompany kids everywhere. There come situations when minors or kids have to be away from parents for some travel, school work, holiday at relatives’ place, etc. Authorities, on the other hand, can’t be lenient and let kids travel alone or with non-legal guardian without proper authorization. Due to increasing cases of child abduction, harassment, trafficking, etc. the government and authorities have to be extremely cautious.
The question then is – how do kids travel and take medical help in the absence of their legal guardian? The answer is the Travel and Medical Consent Form.
Anytime when parents are away, and they want to give some other adult the authority and consent to make medical decisions for the kid, they sign a Medical Consent Form. They can also use the form for a very short period, and they can regulate the kind of medical decisions that can be taken. For instance, a parent may choose to allow a temporary caregiver for only a short period of time to make medical decisions such as only emergency medical help for kids. On the other hand, parents can also choose to give consent for a long period of time, to make more elaborate medical decisions for the kid.
Purpose of the Agreement –
- To allow any other entity or adult who is not the legal guardian of a minor to take medical care for the minor
- To allow any other adult traveling with the kid international or domestic to take medical decisions for the kid
Contents of the Medical Consent Form Agreement – Inclusions
The Medical Consent From will have names of the parents and their contact information. Further, it will have the name of the child, birthplace, birth date, address, etc. The name of the caregiver taking the decision for the kid is also one of the most important inclusions in the form. If the legal guardians are separated, then both of them should sign medical consent.
Any medical information pertaining to the minor should be included in the form, such as a child’s health condition, allergies, prescriptions, and vaccines. Parents must decide on how long they want the caregiver to make decisions. The time period should be specified in the form.
Health insurance details such as name and number of it, policy number, policyholder name, etc. must be included in the form. The parent’s or legal guardian’s signature is a mandatory inclusion in the Medical Consent Form. Without it, the authorities won’t accept the form.
You should notarize your Medical Consent Form to delay any last moment hassles and delays.
Here are some more pointwise inclusions in the Medical Consent Form –
- Mention the governing law
- A very clear assurance that the temporary guardian or caregiver can take such decisions for the kid
- An assurance saying the child’s health and well-being is a top priority
- Financial responsibility will remain with the health insurance or legal guardian
How to Draft the Medical Consent Form Agreement?
A Medical Consent Form is one of the most important pieces of document for your kid who is of age below 21. There would, of course, be many instances where you, as a parent, would have to give someone else permission to make health decisions for your kid in your absence. Sometimes you can make a choice as to who to choose, but sometimes you may not have a choice too. For instance, if your minor is traveling with school faculty and coaches, then you will have to give them the consent to make medical decisions.
The first and very important step to draft the Medical Consent Form is to talk to the temporary guardian and making them understand everything about your kid’s medical conditions, medical history surgery, current medication, etc. For instance, if the kid is traveling with the temporary guardian and is on medication, then the guardian should know the timings and cause. You should also specify if you want the person to make only certain decisions. Describe in detail what those decisions are.
The authorities can reject a very long term consent if you don’t have any other legal documents approving it. So, the time period of the consent pays a huge role too. Make sure you know your state’s laws and then decide on such crucial information. If your minor is traveling with a temporary caregiver for a long period of time, then you must take legal help so that there are no last moment troubles.
Sign the document very carefully and get it notarized.
For the kid’s own safety, it is suggested that there should be no breach in the laws for the minor’s medical consent form. All details should be given accurately, and the parents should sign the form. There is hardly any scope for negotiations, but in case of an emergency, negotiations may take place between whoever is accompanying the minor at the time of it and authorities.
Benefits & Drawbacks of the Medical Consent Form Agreement
Medical Consent Form allows a trusted person or any other person around the kid at the moment to make medical decisions for him, and we know how suddenly some medical conditions may arrive. Thus, it is hugely important to understand the Medical Consent Form, its benefits, and its uses.
Here are some pointwise benefits of the form –
- Absolves the worry about a minor’s health when he or she is traveling without a legal guardian
- Allows grandparents or any close relatives to take a medical decision for the minor
- Allows temporary caregivers or coaches or teachers to help kids medically when there are in need
- Ensures only trusted people are making critical medical decisions for a minor
Medical Consent Form can be seen as something with drawbacks only when it has not been studied well. In most cases, it is only bliss. However, in some emergency cases, when the minor needs help and the form doesn’t permit emergency decisions to the temporary caregiver, then it can be a huge problem. Thus, the legal guardians must be extremely cautious while giving the consent and time period.
What Happens In Case of Violation?
Authorities are vigilante when it comes to kids and rightly so. Hence, as a parent or as a temporary caregiver, you should not make any mistake in drafting the form. There shouldn’t be any misinformation or breach of law. Minors are protected by strict laws, and medical consent form is legal. So, in case of any breach, authorities can immediately take stern against the caregiver.
Medical conditions are serious issues, and sometimes they can be life-threatening too. Utmost caution must be practiced while dealing with it. It is the caregiver’s responsibility too to read through the document clearly, get it notarized, and keep more than one copy.
For some parents, it might get frustrating to get the forms and to indulge in the hassle of drafting it. But as a parent, you must understand why this is important for the security of the kids. Parents must also realize that this may not be the only form they have to draft for their minors. Minors are the kids below age 21 in most cases, and they can’t make decisions for themselves. Parents also can’t accompany them everywhere they so there are some provisions and some solutions for that. Medical Consent Form is one such document.
Be extremely cautious as a parent while drafting it and while giving consent. You can choose Medical Consent Letter for Grandparents too if you want to give the consent to the grandparents of the minor(1).
You can also take an expert’s help to know more and to understand it entirely.