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Client Rights: Giving Medicine to Minors Receiving Treatment

There are rules for giving medicine to children who receive developmental disability, mental health, or substance use treatment. We provide guidance below on these rules. This is not legal advice.

Can a child consent to a medicine without the parent’s or guardian’s consent?

Children under the age of 14 cannot consent to a medicine. They must have consent from a parent or guardian. Children 14 years and older can consent to a medicine but must also have the consent of a parent or guardian.

Can a child consent to a medicine when they’re receiving treatment but don’t have an involuntary medicine order?

If the child is being treated without their consent, they may refuse medicine. In that case, the care team can ask for a hearing. The hearing will decide if they can give medicine to the child without consent.

Last revised April 4, 2022