The Ethical Issue Of Adolescent Confidentiality Essay

The Ethical Issue Of Adolescent Confidentiality Essay

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When it comes to ethics it can run a fine line between what we feel is morally right and what our jobs and the government expect from a healthcare provider. Ethics defined is also vague in its definition, because what we define as morally right and wrong can change. Overall, as a healthcare provider we want to do what is best for the patient’s health. Providing care to minors can be tricky sometimes. The ethical issue many healthcare professionals face is upholding adolescent privacy and not releasing sensitive information to parents, or should they always inform parents about their adolescent’s medical history. I believe adolescent confidentiality is important because it starts to build trust and autonomy with the health care providers.
There are laws and provisions in universal healthcare guidelines like the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) that provides confidentiality protections for adolescent health care that many medical and health care organizations must follow. HIPAA is what most healthcare providers follow when it comes to running their facilities and HIPAA has a provision in the privacy rule for adolescents ' health information. The HIPAA privacy rule creates rights for individuals to have access to their health information and medical records to obtain copies and to request corrections. (HIPAA Administrative Simplification Regulation Text [HHS], 2013, pg. 104 para. 13) It also specifies that the individual 's authorization is not required for the use of the information and its disclosure for the purpose of treatment, payment or health care operations. (English & Ford, 2004, para 6 & 7) As a parent you are probably wondering what this has to do with me and my child. Parents gener...

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...e the clinic for prescription contraception if their parents were notified. (Loxterman, 1997, para 6 & 7) The impact on health outcomes of decreasing confidentiality protection has not been extensively studied, but the available evidence suggest that there would most likely be adverse effects.
Parents, society and healthcare providers want healthy adolescents that will grow into healthy adults. Despite the ongoing debates, there has been no common ground. This is an ongoing battle for parents, policy makers and healthcare professionals. Just like parents, healthcare workers are dedicated and care about the well-being of the adolescents that walk through their doors. They are also concerned parents and share a common interest that can provide a basis for finding some common ground in the ongoing public discussion about confidentiality in adolescent healthcare.

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