This essay explores the informed consent ramifications of the confluence of these two phenomena: developments in medical technology and emerging adulthood. In particular, it explores consent to medical treatments by emerging adults that are both elective and irreversible. In such cases, policy considerations dictate that additional safeguards be implemented to ensure that the consent given is truly informed. Part II of this essay provides an overview of the informed consent doctrine and outlines a variety of advancements in elective medical technology. Part III explores the concept of emerging adulthood. Part IV suggests that when emerging adults seek medical treatments that are elective, non-emergent, and irreversible, the law should require deliberative consent, a process that mandates counseling by a patient advocate along with a waiting period.
Barbara L. Atwell, The Modern Age of Informed Consent, 40 U. Rich. L. Rev. 591 (2006), available at http://digitalcommons.pace.edu/lawfaculty/291/.