What age do you have to be to speak with a doctor privately and not let your parents know about it?

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literaturenerd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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This question does not have one universal answer. Ultimately, the issue of minor child privacy rights differs from state to state, as well as, regarding procedures and medical assistance.(Kepp in mind that this information is based upon my own research regarding laws and minor's rights. I am not a doctor or a lawyer.)

Most states, however, recognize an adolescent to be able to make decisions regarding some medical treatments as falling between the ages of 12 and 15. The normal services which a minor can obtain privacy, in regards to a parent, are as follows:

  • Contraceptive information and products
  • Pregnancy related care
  • Diagnosis and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)
  • Diagnosis and treatment of either human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS).
  • Diagnosis and treatment of reportable or contagious diseases
  • Examination and treatment related to sexual assault
  • Counseling and treatment for drug or alcohol problems
  • Counseling and treatment for mental health issues.

A link has been provided for you to examine regarding specific state-by-state regulations and treatments which minors are allowed to seek out on their own.

If you are seeking specific treatment, you will need to examine the link to see if you are able, according to your state's laws, to seek medical advice without parental consent. I would suggest that you do speak with your parents about any concerns that you may have. The doctors your parents can find for you will, most likely, provide far better service than one you find in the phone book or at a free clinic.

If you do already have a family doctor, ask your family doctor about your rights to privacy. They must adhere to the law like everyone else.


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