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Confidentiality and Minor Consent

Providing confidential health care services to adolescents is a vital component of ensuring that adolescents receive preventive and the most comprehensive care possible. Minor consent laws are also important to understand. The Academy has compiled a list of resources on confidentiality and minor consent for your reference and convenience.

Be sure to come back and visit this page, as new resources will be added.

Policy Statements

Achieving Quality Health Services for Adolescents
AAP Committee on Adolescence. Pediatrics. 2008;121 :1263 –1270

This statement provides recommendations and criteria for assessment of the quality of primary care delivered to adolescents in the United States. Consistent implementation of American Academy of Pediatrics recommendations (periodicity of visits and confidentiality issues), renewed attention to professional quality-improvement activities (access and immunizations) and public education, and modification of existing quality-measurement activities to ensure that quality is delivered are proposed as strategies that would lead to improved care for youth.

Underinsurance of Adolescents: Recommendations for Improved Coverage of Preventive, Reproductive, and Behavioral Health Care Services
AAP Committee on Adolescence and Committee in Child Health Financing. Pediatrics 2009; 123: 191-196

This statement addresses the serious underinsurance (ie, insurance that exists but is inadequate) problems affecting insured adolescents' access to needed preventive, reproductive, and behavioral health care. In addition, the statement addresses provider payment problems that disproportionately affect clinicians who care for adolescents.

 

The Adolescent’s Right to Confidential Care when Considering Abortion
AAP Committee on Adolescence. Pediatrics 1996 (reaffirmed 2002); 97: 746-751

This statement supports protection of the rights of adolescents to confidential care when considering abortion. The AAP supports the recommendations presented in the report on mandatory parental consent to abortion by the Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs of the American Medical Association. Adolescents should be strongly encouraged to involve their parents and other trusted adults in decisions regarding pregnancy termination, and the majority of them voluntarily do so. The statement presents a summary of pertinent information related to the benefits and risks of legislation requiring mandatory parental involvement in an adolescent's decision to obtain an abortion.

 

Confidentiality in Adolescent Health Care
AAP News, April 1989 (last reaffirmed in 2004)– Joint Organizational Statement (AAP, AAFP, ACOG, NAACOG, and NMA)

This statement outlines the guiding principles for health care professionals to consider in caring for adolescent patients.

Confidential Health Care for Adolescents
Position Paper of the Society for Adolescent Medicine.
Ford C, English A, Sigman G. J Adolesc Health. 2005;35 :160 –167

This paper outlines the positions of the Society for Adolescent and Medicine with respect to confidentiality in the care of adolescent patients.

 

Health Care Provider Resources and Tools

​State specific data (from the 2009 YRBS data) –

 

Patient and Family Resources

The Truth About Confidentiality (Tips for Teens)

Minors' Legal Access to Confidential Reproductive Health Care Services (by state)

AAP’s new consumer Web site, designed to provide information on a variety of child and adolescent health care topics.

Coming Soon – Teen Privacy: What you need to know (patient education brochure)
 

Other Helpful Resources

An Overview of Minor’ Consent Law. Guttmacher Institute State Policies in Brief. New York, NY: Guttmacher Institute. 2008.

Article in AAP News on Minor Consent State Laws
This article outlines the consent laws for minors by state, how to interpret them, and where to access them. Pediatricians need to become familiar with issues related to minor consent and confidentiality to ensure the protection of their adolescent patients’ rights.

The Guttmacher Institute advances sexual and reproductive health worldwide through an interrelated program of social science research, public education and policy analysis. It provides a variety of resources related to adolescent confidentiality and minor consent.

This is a unique national organization that works exclusively to promote the health of adolescents and their access to comprehensive health care. The Center addresses a broad range of complex legal and policy issues that affect access to health care for the most vulnerable youth in the United States. The Center provides information and analysis, publications, consultation, and training to health professionals, policy makers, researchers and advocates who are working to protect the health of our adolescents.

State Minor Consent Laws:A Summary (3rd edition) – available for purchase at www.cahl.org

General Adolescent Health Care

Adolescent Screener/Trigger Questionnaire (English)

Adolescent Screener/Trigger Questionnaire (Spanish)

Provider guide - English (to assist with responding to the questions)

Provider guide - Spanish

 

The following questionnaires are from the AMA Guidelines for Adolescent Preventive Services [GAPS]

Reproductive and Sexual Health Care

Adolescent Sexual Health Online Course

 

Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Chlamydia and STD Resources for Healthcare ProvidersNew

2010 CDC STD Treatment Guidelines(available online and in print)

Chlamydia Training Resources

Substance Use/Abuse

Alcohol Use by Adolescents (AAP Policy Statement) - May 2010

CRAFFT Toolkit for Providers (for adolescent screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment [SBIRT] for alcohol and other drug use) - Developed by the Massachusetts Dept of Public Health Bureau of Substance Abuse Services and endorsed by the AAP

Coding Fact Sheet for substance use/abuse (Practice Management Online)

NIDAMED - Resources for Medical Health Professionals from NIDA
(screening tools, treatment and prevention resources, materials for patients, and more!)

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