Arkansas Code Title 20. Public Health and Welfare § 20-9-602. Consent generally--Definition

It is recognized and established that, in addition to other authorized persons, any one (1) of the following persons may consent, either orally or otherwise, to any surgical or medical treatment or procedure not prohibited by law that is suggested, recommended, prescribed, or directed by a licensed physician:

(1) Any adult, for himself or herself;

(2)(A) Any parent, whether an adult or a minor, for his or her minor child or for his or her adult child of unsound mind, whether the child is of the parent's blood, an adopted child, a stepchild, a foster child not in custody of the Department of Human Services, or a preadoptive child not in custody of the department.

(B) However, the father of an illegitimate child cannot consent for the child solely on the basis of parenthood;

(3) Any married person, whether an adult or a minor, for himself or herself;

(4) Any female, regardless of age or marital status, for herself when given in connection with pregnancy or childbirth, except the unnatural interruption of a pregnancy;

(5) Any person standing in loco parentis, whether formally serving or not, and any guardian, conservator, or custodian, for his or her ward or other charge under disability;

(6) Any emancipated minor, for himself or herself;

(7) Any unemancipated minor of sufficient intelligence to understand and appreciate the consequences of the proposed surgical or medical treatment or procedures, for himself or herself;

(8) Any adult, for his or her minor sibling or his or her adult sibling of unsound mind;

(9) During the absence of a parent so authorized and empowered, any maternal grandparent and, if the father is so authorized and empowered, any paternal grandparent, for his or her minor grandchild or for his or her adult grandchild of unsound mind;

(10) Any married person, for a spouse of unsound mind;

(11) Any adult child, for his or her mother or father of unsound mind;  

(12) Any minor incarcerated in the Division of Correction or the Division of Community Correction, for himself or herself;

(13)(A) Any foster parent or preadoptive parent, for a child in custody of the department in:

(i)(a) Emergency situations.

(b) As used in this subdivision (13)(A)(i), “emergency situation” means a situation in which, in competent medical judgment, the proposed surgical or medical treatment or procedures are immediately or imminently necessary and any delay occasioned by an attempt to obtain consent would reasonably be expected to jeopardize the life, health, or safety of the person affected or would reasonably be expected to result in disfigurement or impaired faculties;

(ii) Routine medical treatment;

(iii) Ongoing medical treatment;

(iv) Nonsurgical procedures by a primary care provider;  and

(v) Nonsurgical procedures by a specialty care provider.

(B) The department shall be given timely notice of all admissions and discharges consented to by a foster parent or preadoptive parent for a child in custody of the department.

(C) The consent of a representative of the department is required for:

(i) Nonemergency surgical procedures;

(ii) Nonemergency invasive procedures;

(iii) “End-of-life” nonemergency procedures, such as do-not-resuscitate orders, withdrawal of life support, and organ donation;  and

(iv) Nonemergency medical procedures relating to a criminal investigation or judicial proceeding that involves gathering forensic evidence;  and

(14) A local educational agency liaison for homeless children and youths under the federal McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C. § 11432 et seq., as existing on January 1, 2019, when the minor patient:

(A) Meets the definition of a homeless child or youth under the federal McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C. § 11432 et seq., as existing on January 1, 2019;

(B) Is not in the care or custody of a parent or guardian;  and

(C) Is not in the care or custody of the department.


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