When you are a custodian of a child, the responsibilities go far beyond the simple visitations that you have with your child. You, of course, have the duty to love, protect, and help them grow up to be responsible adults. With these responsibilities, you will have to take them for medical consultations from time to time.
If you are a joint custodian of your child with your former partner, then you might be left confused about who is able to make decisions on behalf of the child, who has precedence, and if you child is older, whether he or she has the right to make his or her own decisions about medical care.
Who can give medical consent?
When going through a divorce or separation, either parent that has custody will be able to give medical consent at any time. However, it is important to establish in the custody terms the duties and responsibilities for medical-related care that they will have. If the child in question already has medical complications, it is a good idea to put in place a care plan. A care plan is nothing legally binding, but it will serve as a set of guidelines that you and the other parent can follow when it comes to taking care of your child.
When can a minor consent?
If the child concerned is in their teenage years, they may be able to give their own consent for medication such as birth control, and will be able to request treatment for substance abuse.
It is important to do enough research in regard to medical decisions and your child, especially if your child receives frequent medical care.
Source: PMC, "Consent to Treatment of Minors," accessed Nov. 16, 2017