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In case of an emergency a minor, whose consent is valid? |
Medico Legal Corner
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In case of an emergency a minor, whose consent is valid?
Dr KK Aggarwal & Advocate Ira Gupta,  10 October 2018
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According to the Clause 7.16 of the Indian Medical Council (Professional Conduct, Etiquette and Ethics) Regulation, 2002, the doctor has to obtain consent from the patient or his guardian in case of minor before performing operation and if the doctor fails to obtain consent, then the same amounts to professional misconduct rendering the doctor for disciplinary action. The relevant provision of Clause 7.16 of the Indian Medical Council (Professional Conduct, Etiquette and Ethics) Regulation, 2002 is reproduced hereunder:

“Before performing an operation the physician should obtain in writing the consent from the husband or wife, parent or guardian in the case of minor, or the patient himself as the case may be. In an operation which may result in sterility the consent of both husband and wife is needed.”

However, in case of emergency involving children when their parents or guardian are not available, then the consent is taken from the person-in-charge of the child e.g. a school teacher can give consent for treating a child who becomes sick during a picnic away from home town or the consent of the headmaster of a residential school. Such person-in-charge of the child are known as in loco parentis i.e. acting as temporary guardian of a child.


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