Sec. 266.004: Consent for Medical Care

(a) Medical care may not be provided to a child in foster care unless the person authorized by this section has provided consent.

(b) Except as provided by Section 266.010, the court may authorize the following persons to consent to medical care for a foster child:

(1) an individual designated by name in an order of the court, including the child's foster parent or the child's parent, if the parent's rights have not been terminated and the court determines that it is in the best interest of the parent's child to allow the parent to make medical decisions on behalf of the child; or

(2) the department or an agent of the department.

(c) If the person authorized by the court to consent to medical care is the department or an agent of the department, the department shall, not later than the fifth business day after the date the court provides authorization, file with the court and each party the name of the individual who will exercise the duty and responsibility of providing consent on behalf of the department. The department may designate the child's foster parent or the child's parent, if the parent's rights have not been terminated, to exercise the duty and responsibility of providing consent on behalf of the department under this subsection. If the individual designated under this subsection changes, the department shall file notice of the change with the court and each party not later than the fifth business day after the date of the change.

(d) A physician or other provider of medical care acting in good faith may rely on the representation by a person that the person has the authority to consent to the provision of medical care to a foster child as provided by Subsection (b).

(e) The department, a person authorized to consent to medical care under Subsection (b), the child's parent if the parent's rights have not been terminated, a guardian ad litem or attorney ad litem if one has been appointed, or the person providing foster care to the child may petition the court for any order related to medical care for a foster child that the department or other person believes is in the best interest of the child. Notice of the petition must be given to each person entitled to notice under Section 263.0021(b).

(f) If a physician who has examined or treated the foster child has concerns regarding the medical care provided to the foster child, the physician may file a letter with the court stating the reasons for the physician's concerns. The court shall provide a copy of the letter to each person entitled to notice under Section 263.0021(b).

(g) On its own motion or in response to a petition under Subsection (e) or Section 266.010, the court may issue any order related to the medical care of a foster child that the court determines is in the best interest of the child.

(h) Notwithstanding Subsection (b), a person may not be authorized to consent to medical care provided to a foster child unless the person has completed a department-approved training program related to informed consent and the provision of all areas of medical care as defined by Section 266.001. This subsection does not apply to a parent whose rights have not been terminated unless the court orders the parent to complete the training.

(h-1) The training required by Subsection (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.

(h-2) Each person required to complete a training program under Subsection (h) must acknowledge in writing that the person:

(1) has received the training described by Subsection (h-1);

(2) understands the principles of informed consent for the administration of psychotropic medication; and

(3) understands that non-pharmacological interventions should be considered and discussed with the prescribing physician, physician assistant, or advanced practice nurse before consenting to the use of a psychotropic medication.

(i) The person authorized under Subsection (b) to consent to medical care of a foster child shall participate in each appointment of the child with the provider of the medical care.

(j) Nothing in this section requires the identity of a foster parent to be publicly disclosed.

(k) The department 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 the services are provided under the medical assistance program under Chapter 32, Human Resources Code, if the department otherwise has the authority under this section to consent to health care services.

Comments

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 268 (S.B. 6), Sec. 1.65(a), eff. September 1, 2005.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 727 (H.B. 2580), Sec. 1, eff. June 15, 2007.

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 204 (H.B. 915), Sec. 8, eff. September 1, 2013.

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 944 (S.B. 206), Sec. 65, eff. September 1, 2015.