What age do you think a patient is able to give informed consent and why?

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  • 1 decade ago
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    It all depends on the maturity of the individual. More importantly as your question implies, it is not the age that matters but the level of information and ability to understand that information that matters. This can vary greatly from one person to the next.

    Some patients who are 30 years old give consent to situations they have no understanding of. Some are even informed and still make bad decisions. A minor is even more tricky.

    If the parents in charge of consent are either not informed, mis-informed, and/or bias in one way or another personally then that consent is a tainted one. It is no better to have the adult have that consent than to let the child be given the info themselves and then make a decision. On the other hand, if adult consent is not needed for a minor, then the minor might by sheer inability to reason properly, abuse the system to their own detriment.

    There is no easy rule. Age should not be a factor. Consent should be determined by the level of information and the doctor should be qualified enough to determine the cognitive skills of the minor involved and their capacity to grasp that information before giving consent.

    Source(s): Ca has a prop 4 on notifications for abortions for minors...it is a pretty complex issue. Given that counseling, communication, and information is not guaranteed to happen constructively the way the prop is set up, I would lean towards no on it.
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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    18, with exceptions for special circumstances. That is the age the patient becomes an adult.

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  • 1 decade ago

    18 in California because they are considered an adult at age 18.

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