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If a patient is below the age of 18-years does confidentiality still works or should...

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jeslin- | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted December 30, 2009 at 4:07 PM via web

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If a patient is below the age of 18-years does confidentiality still works or should doctor breach and inform the parents?

15years girl went for abortion but insist not to let parents know about her abortion. during abortion, she bleed profusely and emergency was performed.

Will the doctor be sued if he calls up the parents?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted December 31, 2009 at 1:39 AM (Answer #1)

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The answer to this question is going to vary from state to state within the United States.  This is especially true on the issue of abortion.

In general, parents are allowed unlimited access to medical information about their minor children.  However, there are some exceptions to this rule.  According to the federal law, the main exception that applies to your question is that parents may not be informed about children's medical information

When the minor is the one who consents to care and the consent of the parent is not required under State or other applicable law

So, as you can see, that could be very different in different states.  This is especially true of abortions since different states have different rules about parental notification.

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mkcapen1 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

Posted December 31, 2009 at 2:51 AM (Answer #2)

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Each state has different laws governing abortion.  In some states they may receive certain medical attention without the consent of an adult.  For example:  In North Carolina is is not against the law to perform GYN exams and place a teen on birth control without parental consent.  Prescribing medication to a person also is an at risk process as a person could have a reaction to the medication.  However, the physician is protected by the process.

Medical information in the states may be released to the parents if a child is under 18.  However, abortion and birth control are not covered under this in all states.  If a child is an emancipated minor parents may not have access to any medical information.

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