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Vitale Bill Allowing Minors To Consent To Medical Treatment Approved By Senate

TRENTON – A measure sponsored by Senator Joseph F. Vitale, to clarify minors’ rights to consent to medical treatment for STDs and HIV/AIDS, was approved by the full Senate today.

“Health care providers sometimes have a difficult time providing medical care to minors because the rules about consent can hinder teens from coming forward to receive medical treatment,” said Senator Vitale, Chairman of the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee. “By lowering the minimum age for confidential consent to medical treatment to 13 years old, we are allowing for more minors to feel comfortable getting necessary treatment for sexually transmitted diseases. The bill gives doctors the opportunity to do their job and make New Jerseyans healthy.”

The bill, S-2481, would allows minors to consent to testing and treatment if they believe that they may be infected with HIV/AIDS.

According to Senator Vitale the bill would amend current law to clarify that a minor who is at least 13 years old has the right to consent to medical care and testing.

“Minors should have the opportunity to feel comfortable getting needed treatment, and still have their privacy protected,” said Senator Vitale, D-Middlesex. “Sexually active or sexually abused teens must receive medical help. Too often minors don’t feel comfortable getting treated for diseases like HIV/AIDS or coming forward about abuse.”

The bill now heads to Assembly for consideration.

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