Young Patient’s Rights

YOU CAN TALK TO YOUR DOCTOR IN COMPLETE CONFIDENCE

Can I trust my Doctor to keep what I tell him or her private?

Even if you are under 16, doctors still have to keep anything you tell them private, just as they would for an adult.  So whether you ask for advice about a cold or something as personal as contraception or a sexual problem, your Doctor will not tell anyone else what has been discussed.

Are there any exceptions to this?

Only a few.  In exceptional circumstances the Doctor may believe that keeping a secret puts either a patient or someone else in severe danger.  For example, if a Doctor suspected you were being seriously hurt in some way he or she may  wish to involve other professionals in helping you.  Even so, nothing should be passed on before it is discussed with you.

But don’t I need my parents permission?

You don’t need your parent’s permission to see a Doctor but it can be really helpful to discuss problems with your parents. If you were thinking of starting or have already started having sex, your Doctor may suggest you talk to them about it.  But he or she should not pass on any information to your parents without your agreement

How can I find out for sure?

If you are in any doubt ring the Doctor’s Practice or clinic first and ask them whether they offer confidential appointments for under 16 year olds.  It may feel a bit embarrassing but you don’t have to give your name or any other details over the phone and they won’t know who you are.  If they say yes, you can go ahead and make an appointment, but if they say no you can find somewhere else that does offer a confidential service.

Can my parents see my health records?

All patients can see their own health records.  However your parents or guardian should not see your records unless you have given them your consent.

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