California Civil Jury Instructions (CACI)

531. Consent on Behalf of Another

In this case [name of patient] could not consent to the [insert medical procedure] because [he/she] was [insert reason—e.g., a minor/incompetent/ unconscious]. In this situation, the law allows [name of authorized person] to give consent on behalf of [name of patient].

You must decide whether [name of authorized person] consented to the [insert medical procedure] performed on [name of patient].

New September 2003

Sources and Authority

  • “If the patient is a minor or incompetent, the authority to consent is transferred to the patient’s legal guardian or closest available relative.” (Cobbs v. Grant (1972) 8 Cal.3d 229, 244 [104 Cal.Rptr. 505, 502 P.2d 1]; Farber v. Olkon (1953) 40 Cal.2d 503, 509 [254 P.2d 520].)
  • Family Code section 6910 provides: “The parent, guardian, or caregiver of a minor who is a relative of the minor and who may authorize medical care and dental care under Section 6550, may authorize in writing an adult into whose care a minor has been entrusted to consent to medical care or dental care, or both, for the minor.”

Secondary Sources

5 Witkin, Summary of California Law (10th ed. 2005) Torts, §§ 389, 392

California Tort Guide (Cont.Ed.Bar 3d ed.) § 9.16

3 Levy et al., California Torts, Ch. 31, Liability of Physicians and Other Medical Practitioners, § 31.14 (Matthew Bender)

6 California Forms of Pleading and Practice, Ch. 58, Assault and Battery, § 58.14

32 California Forms of Pleading and Practice, Ch. 365, Minors: Contract Actions, § 365.13; Ch. 366, Minors: Court Consent for Medical Care or Enlistment, § 366.10 (Matthew Bender)

34 California Forms of Pleading and Practice, Ch. 394, Parent and Child, § 394.54 (Matthew Bender)

36 California Forms of Pleading and Practice, Ch. 415, Physicians: Medical Malpractice, § 415.13 (Matthew Bender)

33 California Legal Forms, Ch. 104, Health Care Transactions, Consents, and Directives, § 104.11 (Matthew Bender)