CHAPTER 369

AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTER 7, TITLE 13, DELAWARE CODE, RELATING TO MINORS' CONSENT TO DIAGNOSTIC AND LAWFUL THERAPEUTIC PROCEDURES, CARE AND TREATMENT FOR PREGNANCY OR CONTAGIOUS DISEASES.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Delaware:

Section 1. Chapter 7, Title 13, Delaware Code, is hereby amended by adding thereto the following new Section 708:

§ 708. Minors' consent to diagnostic and lawful therapeutic procedures; care and treatment for pregnancy or contagious diseases

(a) A minor twelve (12) years of age or over who professes to be either pregnant or afflicted with contagious, infectious or communicable diseases within the meaning of 16 Delaware Code, Chapter 5 and 7, may give written consent to any licensed physician, hospital or public clinic for any diagnostic and lawful therapeutic procedures, medical or surgical care and treatment, including X-rays, by any physician licensed for the practice of medicine or surgery or osteopathic medicine or surgery in Delaware and by any hospital or public clinic, their qualified employees or agents while acting within the scope of their employment.

(b) Such consent so given by a minor 12 years of age or over shall, notwithstanding his or her minority, be valid and legally effective for all purposes, regardless of whether such minor's profession of pregnancy or contagious disease is subsequently medically confirmed, and shall be binding upon such minor, his or her parents, legal guardians, spouse, heirs, executors, and administrators as effectively as if such minor were 21 years of age or over at the time of giving of such consent. A minor giving such consent shall be deemed to have the same legal capacity to act and the same legal obligations with regard to giving such consent as if such minor were 21 years of age or over. Consent so given shall not be subject to later disaffirmante by reason of such minority; and the consent of no other person or Court shall be necessary for the performance of the diagnostic and lawful therapeutic procedures, medical or surgical care and treatment rendered such minor.

(c) The physician licensed for the practice of medicine or surgery or hospital to whom such consent shall be given may, in the sole exercise of his, her, or its discretion, either provide or withhold from the parents or legal guardian or spouse of such minor such information as to diagnosis, therapeutic procedures, care and treatment rendered or to be rendered the minor as such physician, surgeon or hospital deems to be advisable under the circumstances, having primary regard for the interests of the minor.

(d) Lawful therapeutic procedures permitted hereunder shall include abortion as permitted under Delaware law and any subsequent amendments thereof.

(e) The parents, legal guardian or spouse of a consenting minor shall not be liable for payment for diagnostic and lawful therapeutic procedures performed, medical or surgical care or treatment rendered or hospital confinement pursuant to this section.

(f) Notice of intention to perform any operation otherwise permitted hereunder shall be given the parents or legal guardian of such minor at their last-known address, if available, by telegram set at time of diagnosis by the surgeon designated to perform such operation; provided that such operation may proceed forthwith after diagnosis if there is reason to believe that delay would endanger the life of such minor or there is a reasonable probability of irreparable injury.

(g) Nothing contained in this section shall be construed to relieve any licensed physician, hospital or public clinic, their agents and/or employees, from liability for their negligence in the diagnosis, care and treatment rendered such minor.

Approved April 16, 1970.