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How Much Say Do You Really Have in Your Teen's Health Care? –

How Much Say Do You Really Have in Your Teen's Health Care? –

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.

About Seattle Children’s

Seattle Children’s mission is to provide hope, care and cures to help every child live the healthiest and most fulfilling life possible. Together, Seattle Children’s Hospital, Research Institute and Foundation deliver superior patient care, identify new discoveries and treatments through pediatric research, and raise funds to create better futures for patients.

Ranked as one of the top children’s hospitals in the country by U.S. News & World Report, Seattle Children’s serves as the pediatric and adolescent academic medical center for Washington, Alaska, Montana and Idaho – the largest region of any children’s hospital in the country. As one of the nation's top five pediatric research centers, Seattle Children’s Research Institute is internationally recognized for its work in neurosciences, immunology, cancer, infectious disease, injury prevention and much more. Seattle Children’s Hospital and Research Foundation works with the Seattle Children’s Guild Association, the largest all-volunteer fundraising network for any hospital in the country, to gather community support and raise funds for uncompensated care and research.

For more information, visit seattlechildrens.org or follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or on our On the Pulse blog.