Confidentiality and Sharing Information When Adolescents Are Seriously Ill
13 Pages Posted: 13 Feb 2015 Last revised: 31 Mar 2015
Date Written: February 1, 2014
When adolescents are seriously ill with life-limiting conditions, ideally they should receive the best available care that is tailored to their preferences about how to spend the time they have remaining. Communication with adolescent patients about their conditions and possibilities for care-as well as communication from them about their responses and needs-is essential to achieving these goals. Current laws about the medical records of adolescents, coupled with the current state of development of adolescent electronic medical records, do not serve this communication well. On the one hand, parents may block communication to their children about decisions they control. On the other hand, adolescents may be discouraged from seeking care or from sharing information out of fear that their legitimate privacy concerns will not be respected.
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