A minor in Michigan is a person 17 years or younger. A parent or legal guardian must provide consent on behalf of a minor before health care services are provided.
Minors need a parent/guardians permission for the following:
• Vaccines (including HPV);
• Mental health medications;
• Inpatient mental health treatment; and
• An abortion (unless a court-approved waiver is obtained).
However, patients under 18 have the right to the following without parental/guardian consent or knowledge:
• Pregnancy testing and prenatal care;
• Birth control information and contraceptives;
• Testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections (STI’s); and
• Substance abuse treatment.
In addition, there are several important exceptions. Let’s look at three major exceptions to the adult consent rule:
According to Michigan’s Emancipation of Minors Act, MCL §§ 722.1 –722.6:
1. An emancipation of a minor is granted by court order by the family division of circuit court.
2. An emancipation also happens by operation of law in any of the following situations:
• When a minor is validly married;
• When an individual reaches the age of 18 years; or
• During the period when the minor is on active duty with the U.S. armed forces.
Also, this holds for the purposes of consenting to routine, nonsurgical medical care or emergency medical treatment, when the minor is in the custody of a law enforcement agency and the minor’s parent or guardian can’t be found promptly. And for the purposes of consenting to his or her own preventive health care or medical care including surgery, dental care, or mental health care (procedures related to reproduction), during the period when the minor is a prisoner committed to the jurisdiction of the department of corrections and is housed in a state correctional facility; or the period when the minor is a probationer residing in a special alternative incarceration unit.
There are no specific Michigan statutes on this issue. However, state court decisions show that parent or guardian consent is required. Also, parental consent can be implied for emergency care if actual consent can’t be obtained.
In addition, the governor has the authority to issue executive orders and directives, which could allow prophylaxis or medical care to an unaccompanied minor during a declared emergency or disaster under Emergency Management Act, MCL § 30.401 et seq.
The third exception is specific health care services related to:
• Sexual health;
• Mental health; and
• Substance use treatment.
If a minor loved one has suffered injury or died due to what may be a mistake of a physician or hospital, call us to speak to an experienced medical malpractice attorney in Michigan.
Our firm proudly serves people all across Michigan, including major cities like Grand Rapids, Muskegon, Detroit, Lansing, Holland, St. Joe, and Ann Arbor, and rural towns such as Lowell, Ada, Fremont, Newaygo, Grand Haven, Rockford, and Cedar Springs. We will meet you after-hours, at home or in the hospital, to accommodate you.