A juvenile in need of emergency treatment under Article 1A of Chapter 90 of the General Statutes, whose physician is barred from rendering necessary treatment by reason of parental refusal to consent to treatment, may receive treatment with court authorization under the following procedure:
(1) The physician shall sign a written statement setting out:
a. The treatment to be rendered and the emergency need for treatment;
b. The refusal of the parent, guardian, custodian, or person who has assumed the status and obligation of a parent without being awarded legal custody of the juvenile by a court to consent to the treatment; and
c. The impossibility of contacting a second physician for a concurring opinion on the need for treatment in time to prevent immediate harm to the juvenile.
(2) Upon examining the physician's written statement prescribed in subdivision (1) of this section and finding:
a. That the statement is in accordance with this Article, and
b. That the proposed treatment is necessary to prevent immediate harm to the juvenile.
The court may issue a written authorization for the proposed treatment to be rendered.
(3) In acute emergencies in which time may not permit implementation of the written procedure set out in subdivisions (1) and (2) of this section, the court may authorize treatment in person or by telephone upon receiving the oral statement of a physician satisfying the requirements of subdivision (1) of this section and upon finding that the proposed treatment is necessary to prevent immediate harm to the juvenile.
(4) The court's authorization for treatment overriding parental refusal to consent should not be given without attempting to offer the parent an opportunity to state the reasons for refusal; however, failure of the court to hear the parent's objections shall not invalidate judicial authorization under this Article.
(5) The court's authorization for treatment under subdivisions (1) and (2) of this section shall be issued in duplicate. One copy shall be given to the treating physician and the other copy shall be attached to the physician's written statement and filed as a juvenile proceeding in the office of the clerk of court.
(6) The court's authorization for treatment undersubdivision (3) of this section shall be reduced to writing as soon as possible, supported by the physician's written statement as prescribed in subdivision (1) of this section and shall be filed as prescribed in subdivision (5) of this section.
The court's authorization for treatment under this Article shall have the same effect as parental consent for treatment.
Following the court's authorization for treatment and after giving notice to the juvenile's parent, guardian, or custodian the court shall conduct a hearing in order to provide for payment for the treatment rendered. The court may order the parent or other responsible parties to pay the cost of treatment. If the court finds the parent is unable to pay the cost of treatment, the cost shall be a charge upon the county when so ordered.
This Article shall operate as a remedy in addition to the provisions in G.S. 7B-903, 7B-2503, and 7B-2506. (1979, c. 815, s. 1; 1998-202, s. 6.)
Last modified: March 23, 2014