Medical Authorization for Children

 In Learning Center

Ohio does not have a standardized medical authorization form to allow parents to designate someone to make healthcare decisions for their children. However, it is quite likely that little Johnny or Suzie get injured while they are staying at Grandma’s house when mom and dad are traveling for work.

medical authorization

This means that Grandma and Grandpa are going to head to the Emergency Room to have the injury evaluated. This begs the question, how do Grandma and Grandpa authorize medical treatment for the injury? The kid can’t consent for themself. There’s no presumption of consent because the injury is not life-threatening. Mom and Dad are both out of town.

For this situation, I like to draft a medical authorization for children as part of the estate plan. This allows the parents to authorize someone to consent to medical treatment for the parents’ child or children. Unlike the Healthcare Power of Attorney document, there is not a standardized form that is used across the state for this situation. A fellow attorney once asked me about this form, “does it work?” “I don’t know,” I replied. I haven’t been around when it’s been tested.

So what’s one to do in this situation? As soon as you sign your document, submit it to the pediatrician to see if it complies with their standards. The doctor can let their lawyer review the form. If this form isn’t going to get the job done, ask the doctor if they have their own form.

Just like a power of attorney, you want to ask before you need to use it. The doctor doesn’t regularly see a specially crafted form like this.

A proper estate plan for parents of minor children should always include a medical authorization. You don’t want to risk leave a child’s caregiver in a position where they cannot consent to medical treatment.

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