Traveling and working parents may wish to nominate a responsible individual to make medical decisions for their minor children if the parents cannot be reached. It is important for parents to make this determination before leaving their child with a caregiver. If a minor child falls ill during the parents’ absence, nominating a healthcare surrogate will ensure that the child receives prompt medical treatment and that the person making the decisions is a trusted friend or family member.   

Although a hospital will always act to stabilize a minor child in an emergency, issues can arise if parents cannot be reached. For example, in normal circumstances, if a child is seriously injured and needs one of two very different operations, the parents choose.  However, if both parents are unreachable on a flight to Paris and the decision must be made quickly, the hospital may call social services to make the medical decision on a child’s behalf. If a healthcare surrogate has been named for the minor child, a person the parents trust makes the decision if the parents cannot be reached. 

A Healthcare Surrogate for Minor Children is a good tool for parents to give a trusted individual the authority to make healthcare decisions for their child while the parents are working or traveling. The designation can be limited to a specific timeframe and it is only used when both parents are unavailable.

If you have minor children and would like to nominate a healthcare surrogate for your minor child, an experienced attorney at Lavender Greenberg can help.

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