Understanding Informed Consent

What is an informed consent form?

Before surgery, your child's healthcare provider will explain the procedure and its risks. You will be asked to sign an informed consent form. It states in detail:

  • That you understand the risks and benefits of the procedure

  • That you understand the risks of refusing the procedure

  • The risks and benefits of alternatives to the procedure

Before you sign the form, make sure all your questions are answered. Write down your questions before hand Then write down the answers as you discuss them with your child's provider.

Who signs the informed consent form?

One or both parents can sign for a minor child. A minor child is younger than 18 years of age. If the minor child is living with a legal guardian, the legal guardian can sign. A legal guardian will be asked to show proof of the legal relationship.

Teens and informed consent forms

Parental (or legal guardian) consent is needed for procedures on a person under the age of 18. Teens should be part of the discussion about their health and their treatment. The issues and laws for confidentiality and informed consent with teens are complex. They vary from state to state. All their questions should be answered before their parent or guardian signs the consent form. Ask them to write down their questions and the answers. Some older teens also like to sign the consent form with their parent or guardian.

Emancipated minors and informed consent

An emancipated minor is a person under age 18 who has become a legal adult. An emancipated minor may consent to their own medical care. The definition of an emancipated minor is determined by individual state laws.

Online Medical Reviewer: L Renee Watson MSN RN
Online Medical Reviewer: Marianne Fraser MSN RN
Online Medical Reviewer: Raymond Turley Jr PA-C
Date Last Reviewed: 1/1/2024
© 2000-2024 The StayWell Company, LLC. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.