Runaways and homeless kids in New York State can now make some major decisions without their parents' permission. A new law was recently signed by Governor Kathy Hochul that gives certain youth the ability to bypass consulting their guardians to make important choices.

Photo by Patty Brito on Unsplash
Photo by Patty Brito on Unsplash

Do Minors Need Parental Permission For Healthcare Services In New York?

If a minor, a person who is under the age of 18, is married, legally emancipated, pregnant, or a parent themselves, they do not need guardian permission. They also do not need permission if a doctor deems the service necessary in an emergency situation,

Medical, dental, health and hospital services may be rendered to persons of any age without the consent of a parent or legal guardian when, in the physician’s judgment an emergency exists and the person is in immediate need of medical attention and an attempt to secure consent would result in delay of treatment which would increase the risk to the person’s life or health.

The law in New York State also says that minors cannot refuse medical treatment,

An individual who is legally a minor cannot give effective legal/informed consent to treatment and therefore, conversely, cannot legally refuse treatment.


Gov. Hochul Signs Law Giving Runaway Youth Healthcare Decision-Making Power

Gov. Hochul signed Senate Bill S8937/Assembly Bill A9604 on December 23, 2022. The new law allows for,

runaways and homeless youth under the age of 18 who are receiving approved crisis or support services to consent to medical, dental, health and hospital services.

The law amends Subdivision 1 of section 2504 of the public health law, as added by chapter 769 of the laws of 1972.

In summary, it adds qualified runaways and homeless youth to the list of people who can choose medical, dental, health and hospital services without the consent of anyone else.

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