Don't Assume You Have Consent When Caring for Children

ChiroFutures Malpractice Program
Don't Assume You Have Consent When Caring for Children

Get it in Writing

ChiroFutures insures a lot of lifetime, family, wellness chiropractors who take care of lots of kids and we know how important it is for kids to get checked and adjusted when necessary.

We also know how important it is to make sure you have the appropriate consent to do that.

And sometimes its not that clear. Here are just some potential scenarios to consider.

You have a mother who is already a practice member and she brings in her daughter for care, neglects to tell you that she is divorced and has shared custody with the girl's father - and that they have a court enforced order that mother cannot make medical decisions without the father's consent.

You have a grandmother bring her grandson in to see you because she just knows that chiropractic can help him.

A 17 year old comes in to your office without his parents or guardian and wants to get under your care.

A 16 year old has been under your care for several years having come in weekly with her parents but now she can drive and wants to come in by herself after school from now on.

These are just a few scenarios where you could place yourself in jeopardy by not having the appropriate consent prior to beginning care for a child or young adult. Every time we see another iteration of this we think we have seen it all only to be surprised by the next one.

Making matters worse is when there are ill feelings between the parents, a messy divorce or separation and one or more of the parents are using the child to get back at the other. Don't get caught in the middle.

Make sure you are making conscious decisions to acquire a written consent related to every child you are caring for, and when faced with unusual situations, that you are stopping before you manage the child and making sure all your i's are dotted and t's are crossed in regards to consent.

If there are divorce and custody issues don't be afraid to ask for documentation that one or the other of the parents has the legal right to be making health care decisions. If you are taking care of a young adult who drives and comes in on their own make sure you have permission from the parent(s) to see the child without them being present. If a guardian brings a child in make sure the guardian has the legal right to be making health care decisions for the child.

And under no circumstances should you ever find yourself alone in a room with a child or young adult. If the parent or guardian are not present make sure you have a chaperone present.

Chiropractors just want to help people and especially kids. That's good. Just make sure you are not doing anything to place yourself in a position that ends up hurting you because you went out of your way to help someone else.

As always we look forward to your feedback, comments and suggestions.

ChiroFutures Malpractice Program