Current Status of the Regulations Governing the Medical Decision and Autonomy of Minors in Taiwan
The mental maturity of minors changes with age. Whether minors can consent on their own or require joint consents or surrogate consents from their parents or guardians prior to undergoing medical procedures; and whether relevant regulations should vary according to the medical plans to be adopted for the minors are crucial topics to be addressed to protect the autonomy of minors. This study discussed and analyzed regulations related to minors?informed consents in Taiwan medical laws. Generally, the full capacity for consents and the requirements for joint consents and surrogate consents are separated by age. Medical laws in Taiwan have evolved at a rapid pace, and individual acts in these laws have underwent multiple amendments. This study also analyzed the problems underlying existing regulations governing minors?informed consents in Taiwan as well as offered suggestions for improvement.