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J Athl Train. 1994 September; 29(3): 200–202.
PMCID: PMC1317786

Emergency Medicine and the Underage Athlete


Most high school and some collegiate athletes are legal minors. In civil matters, the law treats minors (usually individuals under the age of 18 years) uniquely. Limitations exist on a minor's ability to enter into contracts, make determinations regarding medical care, and bear responsibility for personal actions. Medical professionals are often unclear on matters relating to the provision of medical care to minors. The purpose of this discourse is to present selected legal issues in the context of two fictional case studies. Case 1 presents issues regarding the definition of emergency medical conditions and the related emergency medical doctrine. Case 2 provides an example of an acute medical concern which fails to fall under emergency medical classification but rather provides a context for discussing the mature minor doctrine. Both cases are analyzed in light of these doctrines in addition to other pertinent legal considerations.

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Articles from Journal of Athletic Training are provided here courtesy of National Athletic Trainers Association