Online Staff Report
To ensure all citizens of Illinois have access to quality medical care, state Rep. Chuck Jefferson, D-Rockford, is sponsoring an initiative to allow unaccompanied minors more say in their own health care choices.
“It is unfortunate, but a reality, that some youth do not have a guardian who can ensure they receive the medical attention they need,” Jefferson said. “Under current law, with the exception of emergency care, these unaccompanied youth are routinely denied care, and this is unacceptable.”
Currently, a minor may consent to a medical procedure if they are married, a parent themselves or pregnant. House Bill 4501 expands that to include minors living separate and apart from their parents or legal guardian, and minors who are managing their own personal affairs. According to a 2005 state-run study, approximately 25,000 unaccompanied youth live in Illinois.
“These minors are some of the most vulnerable members of our population, and they must have every opportunity to maintain their health if they are to be successful in life,” Jefferson said. “This bill allows all our youth to receive the prompt, preventive care they deserve.”
H.B. 4501 is supported by the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless and Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago.
Posted March 21, 2014