Can a temporary guardian make medical decisions for a child?

Temporary guardianship is a legal arrangement that allows a caregiver to care for a child when the child’s parents are unable to do so. 

One important question that often arises is whether a temporary guardian can make medical decisions for the child. Here’s what you need to know.

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Authority of Temporary Guardians

Temporary guardians have the authority to make decisions about the day-to-day care of the child, such as providing food, shelter, and medical care. 

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This includes making medical decisions for the child, such as taking the child to the doctor, authorizing medical tests, and consenting to medical treatment.

However, the authority of the temporary guardian may be limited by the court order granting temporary guardianship. The court may place restrictions on the authority of the temporary guardian, such as requiring the guardian to obtain the consent of the child’s parents or the court before making certain medical decisions.

Consent from the Child’s Parents

In some cases, the temporary guardian may need to obtain the consent of the child’s parents before making certain medical decisions. 

This may be especially true for major medical decisions, such as surgeries or invasive procedures. The temporary guardian should work with the child’s parents to obtain their consent and keep them informed about the child’s medical care.

If the child’s parents are unavailable or cannot be reached, the temporary guardian may need to seek guidance from the court or consult with a licensed medical professional to make the best decisions for the child.

Liability for Medical Decisions

Temporary guardians may be held liable for medical decisions made on behalf of the child. If the temporary guardian acts in good faith and makes decisions that are in the best interests of the child, they are generally protected from liability. 

However, if the temporary guardian acts negligently or makes decisions that cause harm to the child, they may be held liable for any resulting damages.

It is important for the temporary guardian to document all medical decisions and communicate regularly with the child’s parents and any medical professionals involved in the child’s care. This can help protect the temporary guardian from liability and ensure that the child receives the best possible care.