Eastern Minor Medical Auth Forms Need Not Be Notarized

For many years, the East Kingdom had a policy that anyone bringing youth to an event without the presence of their parent or guardian needed to carry a Medical Authorization (“Permission to Treat”) form in case of emergencies, and that this form must be notarized.

Getting that form notarized had proven to be a stumbling block when trying to bring my teen’s school friends to events with us, and so when I became a kingdom officer I tried to get it changed.

It turned out that the policy was ancient and appeared to be unnecessary, and although it required repeated rounds of emails back and forth, that requirement was eventually dropped.

On Jul 4, 2021, at 3:53 PM, I wrote:

… [The] French text on the “Law & Policies” page also indicates that the medical authorization form might need to be notarized in some states; the “Frequently Asked Questions” page discusses the medical authorization but does not mention notarization. Do we know if there are any states or provinces in the East Kingdom that require this form to be notarized?

— Mathghamhain Ua Ruadháin
— East Kingdom Marshal of Youth Combat

On Jul 6, 2021, at 7:26 PM, Kingdom Chancellor of Minors wrote:

As far as I know, only Florida requires notarization of this form.

On Dec 1, 2021, at 1:02 AM, I wrote:

Please forgive the delay in my looping back to this issue we talked about over the summer.

The most-authoritative-looking kingdom policy I’ve been able to find on the subject says that the medical authorization form is required to be notarized for all U.S. portions of the East Kingdom — see section II.D.2.a. here: 

However, this document appears to be fifteen years old and I’m not sure it’s is up-to-date or reflects current practice — I notice the Chancellor Minor website continues to describe that the notarization is merely “recommended” for use in the U.S., rather than required:

In the course of taking other people’s children to events in the past, I’ve discovered that getting this form notarized can be a huge hassle, so if it’s optional that would be fantastic!

If that kingdom policy statement is out of date, I’d appreciate a pointer to a more-current version. 

Alternately, if there’s no external legal requirement for this form to be notarized — eg, if U.S. medical providers would generally accept it without notarization, or if it’s only required in certain circumstances — I’d love to work on getting the policy updated to make life easier for folks bringing their children’s friends to events.

(I know that medical facilities in and around New York City will accept such a form without notarization because lots of local schools and summer camps have similar forms without spaces for a notary’s mark — but I am not a lawyer and I have no idea what the rules are in the other jurisdictions.)

Thanks for any input you might have on this,

On Dec 2, 2021, at 5:59 PM, Kingdom Chancellor of Minors wrote:

When this came up in 2017 I did a lot of research and all I could find was that notarization was required for Youth attending events in Florida with anyone other than their parents or legal guardians.  In the East Kingdom, minors attending with an adult who is not their parent or legal guardian must show a current blue card for the youth, or turn in a signed copy of the  Minor’s Consent to Participate and Hold Harmless Agreement form at the gate.  They must also show a copy of the signed Medical Authorization for Minors at the gate.  This form should be kept with the youth in case of an emergency.

You can find longer descriptions of this on the Chancellor Minor FAQ: chancellorminor.eastkingdom.org/frequently-asked-questions/ and the official kingdom policy can be found here: chancellorminor.eastkingdom.org/law-policies/

On Thu, Dec 2, 2021 at 6:16 PM I wrote:

Thank you Hugoline — I know this is a murky subject and I appreciate your help spelunking through the details.

Medhbh — the policy document that appears to create the requirement for youth medical authorization forms to be notarized is the January 2006 “East Kingdom Policy on Adult and Minor Waivers” paragraph II.D.2.a. 

Is this still authoritative?

(And if so, what would be the correct procedure for proposing an amendment to relax the notarization requirement and bring it into alignment with how most of the kingdom has actually been operating in recent years?)

On Dec 3, 2021, at 6:24 PM, East Kingdom Seneschal wrote:

I’ll check in with my predecessors, because, frankly, nothing that hasn’t been updated since 2006 should still be front-facing! If this is, indeed, just policy, then all that needs to be done is update the language and point to the Chancellor of Minors page at the relevant section (rather than copying the language and having it get out of date). 

On Dec 3, 2021, at 7:37 PM, East Kingdom Seneschal wrote:

Hello again!

So, as it turns out, I can just update the page as needed, since it’s a repetition of the policy outlined elsewhere. I’d thought as much, but then again, with something in place that long, it’s always better to double check.

I, however, do not have the spoons to get this done in anything like a timely way. I’ll cast about for someone in need of a project (I have someone in mind), and get it done. 

Thanks again, Math, for following through on the tiny details!

In service,

On Aug 25, 2022, at 3:41 PM, I wrote:

Good day,

I am writing to re-surface a policy issue that I first brought up last year, but which didn’t get fixed before the end of Medhbh’s term, in hopes that perhaps we can get it fixed this term.

A couple of decades ago, when a policy was instituted requiring children attending a Society event with someone other than their parent or legal guardian to be accompanied by a medical authorization form, the East Kingdom’s statement of that policy specified that those forms needed to be notarized for use in the U.S.

Over the intervening years, the requirement that the forms be notarized was relaxed: event stewards don’t turn people away if they are carrying the non-notarized form, the Chancellor Minor’s policies don’t say notarization is required, and the SCA.org website shows it as “recommended” but not required.

Non-SCA organizations in our region also routinely use medical authorization forms without requiring them to be notarized. Unlike twenty years ago, nearly all parents whose children might attend a Society event today are reachable by cellphone in an emergency. 

The one document that still insists that these forms must be notarized is the East Kingdom’s waiver policy, which hasn’t been updated since 2006.

Despite this policy not actually being enforced, it does create a burden on families who are trying to adhere to it — a couple of years ago, before the pandemic, when I was brining my teen child’s school friends to events, getting these forms notarized was a real stumbling block; there were multiple occasions on which we were late to events as we delayed departure while families drove around the city looking for a notary, and one case where they gave up and kept their child home.

In the absence of any evidence that this notarization is actually legally required, can we have this requirement removed?

— Mathghamhain Ua Ruadháin
— East Kingdom Marshal of Youth Combat

On Sep 9, 2022, at 9:36 AM, East Kingdom Seneschal wrote:

Hi all! 

Sorry for the delay in responding here. 

I’ll have the webminster 1) update that page to the new format (whoa) and remove that line.  

We’ll be doing a Waiver Policy overhaul shortly in general.  

Thank you! 

In Service, 
Magistra Audrye Beneyt
East Kingdom Seneschal 

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