Consent in Children

CONSENT IN CHILDREN

E.G.

A 6 year old boy is brought to the emergency department after falling from a trampoline. He appears to have injured his leg and is suspicious of a fracture. Neurovascular examination is normal.

He is accompanied by his 38 year old uncle, whose son he was playing with when he had this injury.

Doctors in the emergency department and the uncle are not able to reach the parents as they are currently overseas.

Question – What is the most appropriate response amongst the following?

The most appropriate response amongst the following is ?:

A) Keep trying to contact the parents.

B) Obtain an x-ray and treat the fracture .

C) Obtain consent from the uncle as he is the one who brought the kid to the emergency department in the first place.

D) Use implied consent and fix the fracture with plate and screws.

Answer:

B) Keep trying to contact the parents.

EXPLANATION

The most important point to understand here is that it is nowhere mentioned that there is a risk to life or limb to the child.

In such a case implied consent does not come into play and we must try to get the consent from the parents only.

The uncle who is accompanying the child is not eligible to give the consent as he is not directly related to the child.

We must wait to get the consent from the parents if it is not a life or limb threatening emergency.

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