Army policy is to follow state law as to when consent is not needed. The local JAG
office should be consulted to determine the specific rule for a given location. If there is
no applicable state or Federal law, Army policy is to seek the consent of the minor,
giving special attention to the minor's maturity, age, and level of intelligence. Even in
cases where the minor's consent alone is not legally sufficient, the minor's consent will
be obtained along with that of the parent whenever the minor is able to understand the
significance of a proposed procedure.
ARMY CONSENT POLICY
Follows state law on exceptions to parental consent.
Risks and alternatives are reviewed with mature, intelligent minor, even if
parental consent is required.
Figure 1-25. The Army follows the local state laws on consent.
d. Mature Minors. In many states, mature minors (generally age 15 or older)
may consent to some medical care because of minor treatment statutes empowering
older minors to consent to medical treatment. The state law may allow the mature
minor to consent, though not yet of age, based on such factors as the maturity of the
minor, the nature of the procedure, and the benefit, if any, to the child. Many states
have special laws concerning minor consent to sexually-transmitted disease and
substance abuse treatment that have no age limits. Army policy, however, is to rely on
the mature minor exception only as a last resort if the parents cannot be contacted. As
a practical matter, whenever major medical treatment is proposed for a mature child,
good medical and legal practice is to discuss with the child, as well as with the parents,
the nature and purpose of the treatment, its risks, and any alternatives. In general,
when treating any minor, parental involvement is to be encouraged. When a mature
minor refuses to permit parental involvement, the provider can provide necessary care
without substantial risk, unless there is likelihood of harm to the minor. When there is
likelihood of such harm, it is advisable to involve the parents, unless state law
specifically forbids parental notification.
MATURE MINOR LAW
MATURE MINOR LAW
Permits consent by mature intelligent minors, in some cases.
Applies generally to minors age 15 or older.
Consent by the mature minor as a last resort, if parents cannot be reached.
Figure 1-26. Mature minor laws exist in many jurisdictions.