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In general, for most medical procedures, the parent or legal guardian of the minor still has to grant consent in order for the procedure to be performed. While the state can challenge a parent’s decision to refuse medically necessary treatment and can in some cases win the authority to make medical decisions on behalf of the child, the minor can not make his or her own medical decisions.

This general rule is virtually always the case regarding any sort of medical treatment before the minor enters their teenage years—no state or court has ever authorized minors younger than 12 to make any sort of medical decision for themselves. But after the minor becomes a teenager, states begin to digress in terms of the responsibility the minor can take for medical decisions. Exceptions have been carved out for various medical procedures that allow teenage minors to have final say in their medical care.

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