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Emancipation Law of Minors in the state of Ohio

Started by lwashington, May 31, 2006, 10:26:41 PM

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I'm a nurse in a very busy OB/GYN office.  Last week, a patient presented to our office about 6 months pregnant.  Her former obstetrician no longer accepts her insurance (medicaid), so she was forced to find another doctor.  This patient is married, but is only 17 years old.  Her husband is also 17 years old.  (I verified her marital status by viewing their marriage license on the website provided by the county probate court).
     It was always to my understanding that once you marry, regardless of age, you would be considered emancipated from your parents.  However, when this situation was presented to the Risk Management Department of our hospital, I was informed that there was no such law that emancipates a minor from his/her parents due to marriage.  I also tried to argue that since she is now married, she now becomes the responsibility of her husband.  Risk Management disagreed with me, stating that since my patient was married to an 17 year old male, she was still her parents' responsibility. (even though her medical insurance is medicaid, and not her parent's private insurance).
     Due to previous circumstances, the state of Ohio revoked all parental rights from the patient's mother, and now the patient's father has sole responsibility of her.  Unfortunately, due to her pregnancy, the patient's father wishes to have nothing more to do with her.  I'm also unable to contact him by phone to obtain a verbal consent to treat his daughter in our office.
    This situation has presented a problem to our office.  Our organization is built around compassion, christian values, and helping those who are less fortunate.  I'm uncomfortable with refusing to see this patient, due to how someone in Risk Management misinterpreted the law.  I'm also haunted by the possibility of the doctor treating her now, then later having to deal with lawsuits as a result of our decision.
    I'm asking for someone to brief me on the Ohio Emancipation Law of Minors.  If possible, please explain to me how it applies to this situation.  It will also be very helpful if you are able to include, or tell me how obtain, legal documentation of this law, so that I can forward that information to our Risk Management Office.




I'm not an attorney.

Is the Risk Management office the legal office? If not, contact your legal department. If so, and you still want to double check, contact a local attorney and ask.

Section 3119.88 of the Ohio Revised Code states that when a child is married, the child is considered emancipated for child support purposes. But I could find nothing else. Feel free to look for yourself at onlinedocs.andersonpublishing.com