Who May Provide Consent to Medical Treatment?

For Adults (Over 18)

Competent Capable Adults

  • Adults Lacking Capacity to Make Health Care Decisions
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. §90-21.13

The Individual (listed in order of priority)

  • Health Care Agent
  • Guardian
  • Attorney-in-fact
  • Spouse
  • Majority of Reasonably Available Parents and Children at Least 18
  • Majority of Reasonably Available Siblings at Least 18
  • Individual who has Established Relationship
  • Attending Physician with Confirmation by Second Physician Unless Delaying Obtaining Confirmation Would Endanger Life or Seriously Worsen Condition

For Minors (Under 18)

  • Lawfully Married or Emancipated Minors for Treatment of Any Condition
    N.C. Gen. Stat. §90.21.5(b)
  • Minors for Treatment of:
    1) Pregnancy (excluding abortion or sterilization)
    2) VD or Other Communicable Disease
    3) Drug or Alcohol Abuse and
    4) Emotional Disturbance
  • Minors for Abortion
  • Minors for Any Other Condition
  • The Minor (for himself and child)
  • The Minor N.C. Gen. Stat. §90.21.5(a)
  • Requires consent of Minor AND at least one of the following:
    1) Parent with Custody
    2) Legal Guardian
    3) Parent with Whom Living
    4) Grandparent with Whom Living for 6 Months Immediately Preceding Date of Minor’s Written Consent
  • Any Custodial Parent N.C. Gen. Stat. §32A-30 2)
    Health Care Agent N.C. Gen. Stat. §32A-31 3)
    Physician, IF:
    Parents, Guardian, Loco Parentis Cannot be Located;
    Identity of Child Unknown and Delay Would Cause Harm;
    Effort to Contact Would Cause Delay that Would Cause Harm.
    If Parents Refuse to Consent and Delay of Getting Court Order Would Cause Harm. (Get second opinion from physician unless delay would cause harm) N.C. Gen. Stat. §90-21.1, §90.21.2, §90-21.3

DISCLAIMER: This is distributed as guidance material only and is not to be relied upon without the advice of legal counsel with knowledge specific to the situation being assessed. This does not address DNR, MOST, or sterilization.

About the Author

Joseph W. Williford

Joe’s work centers on medical malpractice defense and related practice areas. He has more than 35 years’ experience in medical malpractice, workers’ compensation and general casualty litigation. Joe represents physicians, hospitals, long term care providers and medical device manufacturers in matters involving risk management and loss prevention, corporate compliance programs, internal investigations, fraud and abuse, credentialing, peer review and the defense of civil actions. He…

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