Confidentiality for Mental Health Concerns in Adolescent Primary Care
Bioethics Forum 2002; 18(3-4): 43-54
Guidelines from several national professional groups and a patchwork of state laws support the option to provide confidential mental healthcare for adolescents as a way to reduce barriers to treatment. These guidelines do not, however, help doctors decide when and to what extent confidentiality might be appropriate. We propose a set of practical considerations that clinicians can use to develop and justify confidentiality and family involvement in individual cases. Use of this framework may increase clinician comfort in discussing confidentiality and mental health topics with adolescents, and thus reduce barriers to the management of mental health problems in adolescent primary care.
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