Mature minor doctrine is a legal principle which allows a minor to make decisions about his or her health and welfare, if they can show that they are mature enough to make a decision on their own. This prevents the usual necessity for parental consent from becoming a barrier to treatment about which children may be reluctant to inform parents. Not all states recognize the common-law mature-minor doctrine. In the states where it exists , the mature minor doctrine takes into consideration the age and situation of the minor to determine maturity, in addition to factors and conduct that can prove maturity. This doctrine has been consistently applied in cases where the minor is sixteen years or older, understands the medical procedure in question, and the procedure is not serious. Application of the doctrine in other circumstances is more questionable.