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What is MATURE MINOR DOCTRINE? What does MATURE MINOR DOCTRINE mean? MATURE MINOR DOCTRINE meaning - MATURE MINOR DOCTRINE definition - MATURE MINOR DOCTRINE explanation.
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Source: Wikipedia.org article, adapted under https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/ license.
The mature minor doctrine is an American term for the statutory, regulatory, or common law policy accepting that an unemancipated minor patient may possess the maturity to choose or reject a particular health care treatment, sometimes without the knowledge or agreement of parents, and should be permitted to do so. It is now generally considered a form of patients rights; formerly, the Mature Minor Rule was largely seen as protecting health care providers from criminal and civil claims by parents of minors at least 15.
Jurisdictions may codify an 'age of medical consent', accept the judgment of licensed providers regarding an individual minor, or accept a formal court decision following a request that a patient be designated a "Mature Minor", or may rely on some combination. For example, patients at least 16 may be assumed to be 'mature minors' for this purpose, patients aged 13 to 15 may be designated so by licensed providers, and pre-teen patients may be so-designated after evaluation by an agency or court. The mature minor doctrine is sometimes connected with enforcing confidentiality of minor patients from their parents.
In the United States, a typical statute lists: "Who may consent surgical or medical treatment or procedures."
"...Any unemancipated minor of sufficient intelligence to understand and appreciate the consequences of the proposed surgical or medical treatment or procedures, for himself."
By definition, a "mature minor" has been found to have the capacity to make serious medical decisions alone. By contrast, "medical emancipation" formally releases children from some parental involvement requirements but does not necessarily grant that decision making to children themselves. Pursuant to statute, several jurisdictions grant medical emancipation to a minor who has become pregnant or requires sexual-health services, thereby permitting medical treatment without parental consent and, often, confidentiality from parents. A limited guardianship may be appointed to make medical decisions for the medically emancipated minor and the minor may not be permitted to refuse or even choose treatment.