WHEREAS, Senate Bill No. 405, Printer's No. 457, titled the "Medical Consent Act," has been introduced in the Pennsylvania General Assembly to provide for the creation of a legal procedure that will allow a parent or legal guardian to authorize another adult to consent to medical and mental health care for minor children while still retaining the parent's legal rights;WHEREAS, increasing numbers of children in Pennsylvania are being cared for by a relative or family friend with no formal arrangement for their care;
WHEREAS, according to the 1990 U.S. Census, over 70,000 children in Philadelphia live in households with relatives or family friends;
WHEREAS, non-emergency medical, dental, surgical, developmental, and mental health examinations and treatment currently require the authorization of the parent or legal guardian;
WHEREAS, children in need of medical or mental health care should not be made to wait months or longer until a parent or legal guardian can be located;
WHEREAS, the legal procedure proposed by the Medical Consent Act utilizing a simple form will substantially ease the burden on parents, children, caregivers, and the court system;
WHEREAS, the proposed Medical Consent Act will improve the lives of kinship caregivers and kinship children by affording peace of mind that all medical needs will be easily met.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Philadelphia Bar Association supports enactment of the Medical Consent Act, substantially in the form of Senate Bill No. 405, Printer's No. 457.
PHILADELPHIA BAR ASSOCIATION
BOARD OF GOVERNORS
ADOPTED: March 25, 1999