MINORS: THRESHOLD AGES OF LEGAL CAPACITY
|Type of Decision||Age Limit||Citation|
|Consent to an abortion||15-181||C.R.S. § 12-37.5-101|
|Consent to appointment of guardian||12||C.R.S. § 15-14-203(2)|
|Consent to medical treatment in general||15-182||C.R.S. § 13-22-101(1)|
|Consent to medical treatment in general if married||None||C.R.S. § 13-22-103|
|Consent to receive mental health services||15||C.R.S. § 27-10-103(2)|
|Consent by a guardian to sterilization of an incompetent (A hearing and court approval are required at any age)||N/A||C.R.S. § 27-10.5-130|
|Consent to medical treatment for your baby||None||C.R.S. § 13-22-103|
|Consent to treatment for birth control by a physician (If pregnant, married, a parent, or referred by others)3||None||C.R.S. § 13-22-105|
|Consent to treatment for drug use or addiction||None||C.R.S. § 13-22-102|
|Consent to treatment for HIV/AIDS||None4||C.R.S. § 25-4-1405(6)|
|Consent to treatment for pregnancy and birth||None||C.R.S. § 13-22-103.5|
|Consent to treatment for sexual assault||None5||C.R.S. § 13-22-106|
|Consent to treatment for STDs||None||C.R.S. § 25-4-402(4)|
|Donate blood, organs, or tissues while alive||18||C.R.S. § 13-22-104|
|Donate organs after death||186||C.R.S. § 12-34-103(1)|
|Engage in sex willingly||15 or 167||C.R.S. § 18-3-402|
|Engage in sex willingly||Under 158||C.R.S. § 18-3-405|
|Engage in sex willingly with a person in a position of trust||189||C.R.S. § 18-3-405.3|
|Engage in sex games willingly over the internet||1510||C.R.S. § 18-3-405.4|
|Execute a CPR directive||18||C.R.S. § 15-18.6-102|
|Execute a living will||18||C.R.S. § 15-18-103(1)|
|Execute a medical power of attorney||18||C.R.S. § 15-14-505(1)|
|Make a disposition of one's last remains||18||C.R.S. § 15-19-103(1&2)|
|Nominate one's own guardian||12||C.R.S. § 15-14-206(1)|
|Serve as a guardian||21||C.R.S. § 15-14-102|
|Serve as a health care agent by a medical POA||21||C.R.S. § 15-14-603(4)|
|Termination of guardianship||1811||C.R.S. § 15-14-210(1)|
|Witness a living will||None||L.W. law Silent12|
1 One only has to be 15 years old, if “living separate and apart from his or her parent, parents, or legal guardian, with or without the consent of his or her parent, parents, or legal guardian, and is managing his or her own financial affairs, regardless of the source of his or her income,” or is married, under C.R.S. § 13-22-103(1). The statute is titled “Age of Competence.” The phrase “emancipated minor” occurs in several other statutes for specific purposes. “Mature minor” is not used. Physicians who rely on the consent of an emancipated or married minor are not liable to their parents, under C.R.S. § 13-22-103. The same statute exempts the parents from financial responsibility unless they have consented.
Otherwise, there are requirements to notify parents or guardians in advance under C.R.S. § 12-37.5-104. However, there are exceptions to the notice requirements: (1) If a minor is a “victim of child abuse or neglect by the acts or omissions of the person who would be entitled to notice,” or (2) if a court determines either that “notice will not be in the best interest of the minor,” or that “the minor is sufficiently mature to decide whether to have an abortion” under C.R.S. § 12-37.5-107, or (3) that having an abortion was a medi-cal emergency. C.R.S. § 12-37.5-105(c).
2 One only has to be 15 years old, if “living separate and apart from his or her parent, parents, or legal guardian, with or without the consent of his or her parent, parents, or legal guardian, and is managing his or her own financial affairs, regardless of the source of his or her income,” or is married. C.R.S. § 13-22-103(1).
3 But only when referred by a “physician, a clergyman, a family planning clinic, a school or institution of higher education, or any agency or instrumentality of this state or any subdivision.” C.R.S. § 13-22-105.
4 However, if the patient is under 16, “the minor's parents or legal guardian may be informed by the facil-ity or physician of the consultation, examination, and treatment.” C.R.S. § 25-4-1405(6).
5 However, a reasonable effort to first obtain consent from the minor victim’s parent or guardian must be made; if consent is denied, child protection reporting is required, C.R.S. §§ 13-22-106 & 19-3-301.
6 Same as ¶ 1, above, under C.R.S. § 13-22-103(1).
7 Unless your partner is at least 10 years older and not your spouse (§c).
8 Unless your partner is at least four years older and not your spouse (§d); Matches C.R.S. § 18-3-402.
9 This is a felony against the person in a position of trust when the minor is less than 18 years of age, but the severity of the punishment is even greater when the minor is less than 15 years of age.
10 It is a crime only if the minor is less than 15 years of age and the partner is at least four years older.
11 Same as ¶ 1, above, under C.R.S. § 13-22-103(1).
12 Analogously, the statute governing testamentary (property) wills has no specific, minimum age re-quirement for witnesses, C.R.S. §§ 15-11-505(1) & 13-90-101, as long as the witness has the “capacity to observe, remember, and recount” the will’s execution. People v. Dist. Court, 647 P.2d 1206, 1214 (Colo. 1982). There are other limits on L.W. witnesses.
Frank, Casey. (2008, October 20).