Collision between law and ethics: consent for treatment with adolescents.
J. M. Shields and A. Johnson,
Bull. Amer. Acad. Psychiatry & the Law
20(3): 309-23, 1992.
The dilemmas between legal obligations and ethical responsibilities can often create problems in
clinical work. The treatment of minors, and particularly adolescents, can present special issues to the
clinician that are becoming increasingly frequent and difficult. The issue of informed consent for
treatment of adolescents raises serious questions for the clinical practitioner who is faced with both
legal and ethical dilemmas in making decisions about treatment. There are an increasing number of
cases where adolescents may seek treatment yet are in circumstances that preclude parental consent.
This paper uses case material to illustrate some of the legal, ethical, and treatment considerations in
the situation of adolescent treatment where parental consent is problematic.