How Much Say Do You Really Have in Your Teen's Health Care? –
June 11, 2014
Source - U.S. News & World Report
As a parent, your child’s health is in your hands – until it isn’t. Before they reach their teens, in some cases, confidentiality laws allow kids to obtain certain types of health care without your knowledge. And privacy protections may be strongest exactly around topics parents might feel the most need to know: mental health issues, substance abuse problems, pregnancy prevention and sexually transmitted diseases. “In the state of Washington, if children are over 14, they have the right to reproductive care without parental knowledge or consent,” says Dr. Cora Breuner, a professor of pediatrics and adolescent medicine at Seattle Children's and the University of Washington School of Medicine. “Even though [parents] might get upset, our mission is to support the requests of the 14-year-old. And so it might cause an argument in the house, but it is something that we are supported legally for doing,” says Breuner, also a member of the Committee on Adolescence for the American Academy of Pediatrics.