June 24, 2021

House Bill 241 Establishes Parental Rights for Minors' Education, Healthcare, Criminal Justice

Holland & Knight Healthcare Blog
Eddie Williams III
Healthcare Blog

Florida House Bill 241, which has been presented to Gov. Ron DeSantis, creates the Parents' Bill of Rights in Chapter 1014, Florida Statutes, under the Florida K-20 Education Code. The bill prohibits the state, its political subdivision, any other governmental entity or any other institution from infringing upon the fundamental right of a parent to direct the upbringing, education, healthcare and mental health of his or her minor child. The bill enumerates similar rights of students and parents found in Section 1002.20 – Students and Parental Rights. Specifically, the bill establishes parental consent requirements for, among other things, the collection of certain identifying information for a minor child. Also, the bill requires parental notification when a state actor suspects a child is the victim of a criminal offense but provides exceptions, including when a suspected offense has been reported to law enforcement or the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF).

With regard to healthcare, unless otherwise permitted by law, a healthcare practitioner or his or her employees must obtain parental consent before performing healthcare services on a minor child, including prescribing medicinal drugs. Further, healthcare practitioners and facilities may be subject to disciplinary action for violation of these parental consent requirements in certain instances. Therefore, unless the law permits a practitioner or facility to provide care to the individual without parental consent – for example, when the minor may legally consent to receive the healthcare services or in the case of certain emergencies – the bill requires parental consent to be obtained prior to medical services being rendered to the minor.

If signed into law by the governor, House Bill 241 will become effective July 1, 2021.

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