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

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.

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.
References in periodicals archive ?
In states that lack relevant policy or case law, physicians may commonly provide medical care to a mature minor without parental consent, particularly if the state allows minors to consent to related health services.
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.
The mature minor is defined as being at least 14 years old, having the ability to understand risk and benefits, and having the ability to provide informed consent.
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.
21) Mature minor statutes, however, generally lack a gauge for determining "maturity", engraft a lower age limitation (usually 14 or 15) and limit adolescent decisional autonomy to consent to, rather than refuse, treatment.
A life and death context is quite different from the context the mature minor principle came from.
Considering the psychological importance of privacy to minors, the heightened protection generally afforded to the sanctity of the home, and the societal benefits of preparing mature minors to serve as trustees of their own rights, the State's interest in preserving parental authority does not provide a sufficiently compelling basis upon which to abrogate the right of a mature minor to refuse State examination of his private space or property.
After the medical interview, her physician should be able to assess whether she is a mature minor and intellectually able to understand the information presented to her.
17) The mature minor rule is largely a judicial, rather than a statutory, doctrine "that extends the common law principle of self-determination to minors"; (18) however, some states have enacted mature minor legislation in response to such court decisions.
State mature minor statutes can be referred to for precedent.