I. Medical Consent

1. Medical Care and Treatment

Except in an emergency, medical care may not be provided to a child in foster care, unless the person authorized by court order consents to the medical care. Tex. Fam. Code § 266.004(a).

2. Medical Consenter

The court may designate DFPS as the medical consenter, but DFPS must within 5 business days file with the court and each party the name of an individual who will exercise the duty and responsibility of providing informed consent on behalf of DFPS. Tex. Fam. Code § 266.004(b)(2) and (c).

A person may not be authorized to consent to medical care provided to a foster child unless the person has completed a DFPS-approved training program related to informed consent and the provision of all areas of medical care as defined by Tex. Fam. Code § 266.001. Tex. Fam. Code § 266.004(h).

Tex. Fam. Code § 266.004(h) addresses required medical consenter training:

•   The training required by Tex. Fam. Code § 266.004(h) must include training related to informed consent for the administration of psychotropic medication and the appropriate use of psychosocial therapies, behavior strategies, and other non-pharmacological interventions that should be considered before or concurrently with the administration of psychotropic medications. Tex. Fam. Code § 266.004(h-1).

•   Each person required to complete a training program under Tex. Fam. Code § 266.004(h) must acknowledge in writing that the person:

◦   has received the training described by Tex. Fam. Code § 266.004(h-1);

◦   understands the principles of informed consent for the administration of psychotropic medication; and

◦   understands that nonpharmacological interventions should be considered and discussed with the prescribing physician, physician assistant, or advanced practice nurse before consent to the use of a psychotropic medication. Tex. Fam. Code § 266.004(h-2).

DFPS may consent to health care services ordered or prescribed by a health care provider authorized to order or prescribe health care services regardless of whether services are provided under the medical assistance program under Tex. Hum. Res. Code Chapter 32, if DFPS otherwise has the authority under Tex. Fam. Code § 266.004 to consent to health care services. Tex. Fam. Code § 266.004(k).

3. Consent by Child 16 Years of Age

A child who is at least 16 years of age may consent to the provision of medical care if the court determines that the child has the capacity to consent to medical care. Tex. Fam. Code § 266.010(a).

An attorney ad litem appointed for a child in a proceeding under Tex. Fam. Code Chapter 262 or Tex. Fam. Code Chapter 263 shall, for a child at least 16 years of age, advise the child of the child’s right to consent to the child’s own medical care under Tex. Fam. Code § 266.010. Tex. Fam. Code § 107.003(b)(3).