The Privacy Act Of 1988 Essay

1919 Words8 Pages
According to Dictionary.com confidentiality is “the right of an individual to have personal, identifiable medical information kept private.” The definition for this term is widely known in health care, but when it is applied to adolescents many people do not understand the basics. Doctors are responsible for informing adolescent patients and their parents the privacy a minor is given according to federal and state laws, but in some cases doctors fail to do so. This results in the misunderstanding of minor’s privacy rights, which can lead to the adolescent patient not disclosing significant information, and the parents assuming they have the right to all of their child’s medical records. Because of this, it is important for adolescents and their parents to understand the nature of confidentiality in health care. Many people are unsure of the rights granted to minors because of the laws in place, or the lack of laws in place. In fact there are laws, such as the Privacy Act of 1988 that could be a reason people are confused about the rights minors have to confidentiality. This act is directly described in a professional practice article when Bird (2007), stated that an adolescent’s health information can be released to a guardian, but in circumstances where a minor is capable of making their own medical decisions, they should be allowed to do so (p. 655). Bird further explained that “If an adolescent is able to consent to their own medical treatment, then they are
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