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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2012

    Exclamation Minor Consent to Check Up, Subsequently Billed

    My question involves medical malpractice in the state of: California

    I visited a small hospital in my town of residence, as a minor (defined as under the legal age of consent of 18 in California), and requested a simple check-up for some insect bites on my body. They asked me to fill out some forms before receiving this check up. I noticed that they require parental consent for any type of treatment at the hospital, but I disregarded it at the time and proceeded to sign only where they requested my own signature, and left the spots for parent information and consent blank. I brought these forms up to the counter, the clerk skimmed them, and allowed me to receive treatment.

    I received a basic check up and small amounts of advice on what I should do, all amounting to under 40 minutes of time with the doctor. No prescriptions were given, no pills, no vaccines, and nothing that would have cost the hospital any amount of money.

    Was it wrongful of them to even allow me to see the doctor, seeing as the form clearly stated that I needed parental consent in order to be seen? Is it subsequently wrongful of them to later bill me for over $150 because the insurance card I originally provided was denied? (It would have otherwise covered that $150). I paid them $20 upfront as a "co-pay".

    Am I obligated to pay this amount? Or are they wrong to have charged me, and I shouldn't be paying the amount?

    Is my signature on those forms even valid in the first place? Since as a minor I have no right to enter any sort of contract, doesn't that technically mean they never had my permission to treat me and therefore charge me for it?

    Who's in the wrong here?

    Thank you

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Somewhere near Canada

    Default Re: Minor Consent to Check Up, Subsequently Billed

    Quick question for you.

    Do you think that a hospital cannot treat a minor without parental consent in the case of an emergency?
    An intelligent hell would be better than a stupid paradise - Victor Hugo

    Do not microwave grapes

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2006

    Default Re: Minor Consent to Check Up, Subsequently Billed

    You don't think that 40 minutes of the doctor's time is worth any money? They should treat you for free because you think you've figured out a way around the rules?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Toledo, OH

    Default Re: Minor Consent to Check Up, Subsequently Billed

    Who's in the wrong here?
    You are.

    In the state of California, minors over the age of 12 can consent to many medical procedures without the knowledge or consent of their parents.

    Even if this were not the case, you would still be responsible for the bill. Medical care isn't like Columbia House, where you can cry "But I'm not 18!" and be let off the hook. That you (wrongly) feel that your visit didn't cost the hospital money is irrelevant.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2012

    Default Re: Minor Consent to Check Up, Subsequently Billed

    Oh, what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive.

    Although, technically, a person under the age of 18 cannot "contract" for services, there are exceptions to the law, especially where medical care is concerned.

    Emancipated Minor (Marriage, Armed Services, Emancipation by Court)
    Minor Living Separate and Apart from Parents
    Note: No court has recognized a “mature minor” doctrine in California.

    Unless you fall under one of those categories above, you probably can't be pursued for the bill. That being said, you perpetrated subrogation by squeezing through the cracks. Be a grown-up. Pay the bill.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Behind a Desk

    Default Re: Minor Consent to Check Up, Subsequently Billed

    First, let's remember that we're talking about voidable contracts, not void contracts. If the minor does not disaffirm a contract entered into during minority, it's enforceable. Second, minors can be responsible for contracts they enter into for their support, which will generally include necessities of life such as emergency medical care.
    Quote Quoting California Family Code, Sec. 6712.
    A contract, otherwise valid, entered into during minority, may not be disaffirmed on that ground either during the actual minority of the person entering into the contract, or at any time thereafter, if all of the following requirements are satisfied:

    (a) The contract is to pay the reasonable value of things necessary for the support of the minor or the minor's family.

    (b) These things have been actually furnished to the minor or to the minor's family.

    (c) The contract is entered into by the minor when not under the care of a parent or guardian able to provide for the minor or the minor's family.
    Quote Quoting Yanez v. SOMA Environmental Engineering, Inc., 185 Cal. App. 4th 1313 (Cal. Ct. App. 2010) (quoting Bauman v. San Francisco (1940) 42 Cal.App.2d 144, 162-163 [108 P.2d 989
    )]The parents of a minor are normally responsible for medical and hospital care furnished the minor, and the cause of action to recover these items normally rests with the parents. But the child is also liable for the reasonable value of these expenses.

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