Treating Minors With Parents Present Essay Examples

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Family, Parents, Health, Nursing, Confidentiality, Women, Information, Health Care

Pages: 2

Words: 550

Published: 2020/10/06

The importance, of maintaining patient confidentiality, cannot be underestimated in the medical profession. Patient confidentiality has been a fundamental tenet of medical ethics since the antiquity. It is the sacred duty of a physician to preserve the information given during the medical examination. It also shows respect for the patient’s autonomy-based right on who to share with private information; an essential element of patient care. Adolescent patient confidentiality is a significant factor in reducing mortality and morbidity in this age group. Unsafe sex, drug abuse, and mental depression are some of the causes of patient mortality in this group. Adolescents are likely to seek and disclose sensitive information to a medical practitioner when they have an honest belief that the physician would not disclose the information to their parents.
Informed consent, when it comes to minors, is a complex matter. Emancipated minors do not need the consent of their parents to access health care. Emancipation can only be granted through parentage, marriage or a court order. The courts have implemented the mature minor rule in relation to adolescent consent in treatment. Only two states, Utah and Texas require parental consent in access to state-funded family planning services.
The State of Georgia has a high privacy code that in relation to patient confidentiality. As a physician, I would allow the 15-year-old daughter to exercise her autonomy-based in deciding whether she wants the presence of her parent. As a rule of professional practice, the girl would be free to disclose sensitive information in the absence of the mother. I will inform the parent that what is important is the proper health of the daughter. It is apparent that the presence of the parent would compromise the physical examination of the girl. If the matter involves sexual health then Georgia’s Code gives recognition to her fundamental right of privacy as well as giving recognition of her informed consent. I will inform the parent of the position of the hospital in accordance with the state laws and attempt to find a middle ground where the privacy of the child does not suffer. It is paramount to underscore that it is a controversial matter. The process of decision making for teenage patients legally belongs to their parents. The best course of action would be selecting what is best for the child.
Adolescents have a right to confidentiality especially when accessing health care. When adolescents are assured that health care providers respect their right to privacy, they are willing to access reproductive health care. Teenage privacy should be observed out of moral and prudential concerns. Several ethicists around the world also support this argument. Without disclosing all the information to the clinician, the adolescent will not get the proper medication for the problem. The issue is complicated especially if the parent covers the adolescent. Eventually, the parent will know the ailment that afflicted the adolescent. The doctor is also restrained by professional ethics from lying to parents about the condition of the child. If the youth is admitted to the hospital, the parent will be informed of the ailment. Adolescents should be encouraged to communicate with their parents on matters affecting their health. It is time for the medical profession to consider the implication of failing to take recognition of the consent of minors in matters of healthcare.
However, adolescent patient confidentiality is not absolute. In the event, that the teenager discloses to the doctor that he or she has been having suicidal thoughts, the doctor is obliged to inform the parent. Clinicians are allowed to exercise their judgment and weigh the risk involved in disclosing such kind of information. If the benefits outweigh the disadvantages then the clinician can communicate the information. If the teenager informs the doctor that he is sexually active and does not want the parents to know, the doctor will not disclose the information but will advise the youngster on how to prevent sexually transmitted infections. The parent can also choose to grant the teenager privacy together with the health care provider. The three parties can decide that the treatment plans will not be disclosed to the parent, not unless the treatment strays away from the treatment plan, or the adolescent possess the danger to himself or others.
One of the reasons why the patient's confidentiality works in hospitals is that there is minimum interaction between the patient and the doctor in the future. Patients do not meet doctors every day unless the doctors for health purposes require it. The minimal contact assures the patient that medical records will not be disclosed. Federal and state laws prohibit the dissemination of information to unauthorized users. Medical professional ethics and guide clinicians, as a result, cannot disclose your confidential information. Parents, on the other hand, are directly involved in the lives of their children. Teenagers are afraid that their confidential information, once acquired by their parents can easily be disseminated to their friends and relatives. Reproductive health care issues are sensitive since they are closely associated with immorality. They are also expected to lead a virtuous life as prescribed to them by their parents. Secondly, parents occupy a position of authority in their children’s lives. Parents and children usually are not open and free to communicate with each other. The relationship between parents and their children are prone to trouble. In some of the instances, the threat of physical violence is so eminent in the family that the children live in fear of offending their parents. Sexually active teenagers are unlikely to share this information with their fathers.
Children of 15 years of age are highly discouraged from engaging in sexual activities. If the daughter is sexually active, she will find it difficult to disclose that information in the presence of her mother. The virginal discharge may be because of sexually transmitted infection. The daughter is highly unlikely to give truthful answers in the presence of her mother. The mature minor rule adopted by the courts has changed the paradigm of adolescent healthcare. The daughter can elect to undergo the examination without the presence of her mother. Parents regularly chastise their children, and the fear of punishment might hinder the girl from giving truthful answers. The daughter is likely to allege that the cause of virginal discharge to be something else other than the actual cause. It expected that the doctor would seek to find whether the cause of virginal discharge is casual sex. In order to please her mother, she will state that that she is not sexually active. The answers given during the medical examination will determine whether the prescribed cure works or not.


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Treating Minors With Parents Present Essay Examples. Free Essay Examples - Published Oct 06, 2020. Accessed August 20, 2022.

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