mature minor

A young person who has not reached adulthood—as defined by the laws of a particular jurisdiction—but whose maturity is such that he/she can interact on an adult level for certain purposes—e.g., consenting to medical care
Segen's Medical Dictionary. © 2012 Farlex, Inc. All rights reserved.

ma·ture mi·nor

(mă-chūr' mī'nŏr)
Person younger than 18 years of age, who nonetheless possesses an understanding of the nature and consequences of proposed treatment.
Medical Dictionary for the Health Professions and Nursing © Farlex 2012

mature minor

Any teenager who can demonstrate competence to consent to or refuse treatment. In the common law, a teenager who demonstrates adequate maturity may choose or reject some forms of care, including contraceptive and pregnancy care, mental health and chemical dependency consultations, and treatments for sexually transmitted diseases. In these instances the consent of the parent or guardian is not necessarily needed.


Although the concept of the mature minor recognizes the autonomy of the teen, before care is provided without parental consent health care professionals must be able to obtain evidence of and clearly document both the teen's maturity and his or her understanding of any proposed treatment.
Medical Dictionary, © 2009 Farlex and Partners
References in periodicals archive ?
In other states, including Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Illinois, Nevada, Tennessee, Washington, and West Virginia, a relatively new legal concept called the "mature minor doctrine" allows unemancipated minors to petition a court for the right to make medical decisions for themselves, although the specifics of these laws vary and sometimes include requirements regarding age or parental availability.
Some states allow for medical procedures if the person is a mature minor, which means a minor who is mature enough to understand the consequences of a given medical procedure.
"The new law cites the so-called 'mature minor doctrine' as basis for consent of minors who are pregnant into high-risk behavior," Rep.
(56) The remaining four states have no explicit law on a minor's ability to obtain contraceptive services, but even where a state has no relevant law, physicians may commonly provide medical care to a mature minor without parental consent as a matter of practice.
(195) Under the mature minor doctrine at common law, the court determines, as a matter of fact, whether the minor has sufficient cognitive capacity to consent to medical treatment, taking into consideration factors such as the minor's age, apparent age, evidence of responsible behavior (outside and inside the provider setting), and evidence of reasoned decision making.
Where the situation becomes very gray is in the case of the mature minor. This category is recognized in some states as an exception to the rules requiring parental consent for medical care (Int.
If C can show she is a mature minor or an emancipated minor, she can then decide for herself.
Several other states recognize the mature minor doctrine.
Many countries (including Australia, Fiji and New Zealand in the Asia-Pacific region) apply the concept of the evolving capacities of the child to determine whether a young person under 18 can make health care decisions independently, through what is called the mature minor principle or "Gillick competency".