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Medical Rights of Stepparents: What the Law Says


Most parents would do anything to keep their children safe – stepparents are no different. Statistics show about 43 percent of all marriages are a second or subsequent marriage for at least one of the people involved. This ensures there are an abundance of stepparents out there. Since stepparents are often in the same place parents are, it’s important for them to know their medical rights when it comes to medical care for their little ones.

Medical Rights Involving Severe Injuries

In cases where a child has received severe injuries, a stepparent may not have to worry about making medical decisions in the absence of their spouse or the other parent.

If failing to undergo a certain level of care would injure the child or prove fatal, doctors will usually undertake the decision on their own.

This means a stepparent can immediately take their stepchild to the emergency room after a serious accident and likely still receive care. The ability for doctors to care for children in these situations is vital, and this is especially true when a stepparent doesn’t have medical rights to make decisions. Imagine a horrific car accident in a city such as Houston.

Due to the large area and dense population of such a large city, it may be difficult for a biological parent to arrive on time to make a decision, so it is a blessing doctors will care for children who are in serious condition even in the absence of parental consent. Further information about receiving help in this scenario can be found online at houston-accidentattorney.com.

Medical rights - children head injury

In these instances, a stepparent should definitely speak with their spouse about potentially contacting a personal injury attorney as well. This is because, even if a doctor made the decision to treat a child, a parent will be liable for any medical bills. If another driver was negligent by causing the accident, it’s necessary legal professional help hold them responsible.

Typical Circumstances

The previously mentioned abilities of a doctor are vital in most circumstances. This is because stepparents don’t usually have the authority to make medical decisions for their little ones. This right rests solely with the biological parents or legal guardians. This means that, in the absence of a life-threatening injury, a child may just have to wait for proper medical care.

Luckily, there are a few ways stepparents can go about changing this. When it comes to situations where a stepparent may need to have the right to make medical decisions for their stepchild, going through these steps can make all the difference.

How Stepparents can Make Decisions

One of the simplest ways for a stepparent to have the identical medical rights to make medical decisions for a child is to get permission from both parents. A stepparent can get a medical power of attorney that will grant them the medical rights to make medical decisions in place of the biological parent.

Medical rights - power of attorney

Both parents, though, must sign this agreement. In addition, legally adopting a stepchild will also grant an individual the right to make medical decisions.

The legal world involving stepparents is incredibly complex, and this is especially the case when it comes to making medical decisions. Luckily, there are ways to ensure a child is cared for in case of an accident. By just being a little proactive, a stepparent can ensure they have rights similar to those of a parent when it comes to making medical decisions.

Lisa Coleman shares what the law says in regards to care regarding stepparents and stepchildren, and how to obtain required help when needed. She recently read online at houston-accidentattorney.com how a stepparent can seek the services of a Houston car accident attorney to obtain help in filing a claim for financial compensation of medical costs for a stepchild who was injured in a car accident while in their vehicle.

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