The Rights of Teens in Healthcare
Tuesday, July 6, 2010 at 10:16PM
Sunny Peds Admin

As featured in local papers in September of 2009

Nothing about adolescents is black and white.  From their school curriculum, and their extracurricular activities, to their right to work, and their rights in health care.  There isn’t a manual to tell parents the best way to raise their children let alone how to help them transition from childhood to adulthood.  Likewise, the right of adolescents to obtain and govern their health care is not always clearly defined. 

Questions commonly arise from parents, teens, and even health care professionals about the best representation for adolescents in the health care setting. There are certain health issues that teens have clear rights to privacy and others that are a little more allusive. 

There are simple questions.  Can a physician see a teen without a parent present?  Can a physician see a teen with written consent from a parent? 

And there are more difficult questions.  Can a teen talk to a physician about private problems such as birth control options and sexually transmitted diseases without parent consent or knowledge?  Can a parent request private records of their teen’s doctor visit?  Does a parent have to pay for a visit that they did not attend or have knowledge about? 

There are some general guidelines, but the finesse comes from communication between the parents, physician, and adolescents as a whole.  These topics and more will be discussed at Talk to the Doc on September 24th at 6:30 pm.  Come join in on the discussion!

Article originally appeared on Sunshine Pediatrics (
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