Does a Teen Have a Right to Privacy about Medical Issues?
While in theory I believe that older teens have a right to privacy about their medical stuff and what they tell their doctor, in practice I think it is a lousy idea.
If my teenager wants birth control, I want to know about it. If they think they have an STD, I want to know about it. If they feel like they are getting the flu – by golly I want to know about it!
I realize that in some families, open communication is non-existent. In our family we have the other extreme, sometimes my husband (my kids’ much cherished, not-very-wicked-at-all stepdad) probably wishes that the communication wasn’t so open about certain subjects!
The thing is, teenagers still live at home because they are not mature enough to live away from home, support themselves, and consistently make wise decisions. There are a lot of adults in the same boat but that’s another story for another post.
At this point, the laws about a teen’s right to privacy are vague and, to some extent, they are interpreted differently by different physicians and courts.
It is generally accepted that a teenager can get birth control, have an abortion, or get treatment for an STD without the parents ever knowing about it. At the same time, most doctors would not give antibiotics for strep throat to a teen without informing the parent and getting consent.
I understand the reasoning, but I am not sure that I agree with it. If a 14 year old is old enough to decide to get an abortion, then I would think she is old enough to take an antibiotic properly.
What if it was your 14 year old? Thoughts?
photo credit: The Italian Voice