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August 14, 2002

Limiting Confidentiality of Adolescent Health Services: What Are the Risks?

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Pediatrics and Medicine, Adolescent Medicine Program, University of North Carolina (Dr Ford); and Center for Adolescent Health & the Law (Ms English), Chapel Hill, NC.

JAMA. 2002;288(6):752-753. doi:10.1001/jama.288.6.752

In this issue of THE JOURNAL, Reddy and colleagues1 describe the potential consequences of limiting confidential health care on adolescent girls' willingness to use family planning services for prescription contraception and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Although the study results do not challenge the value of effective communication between parents and children about sensitive issues, including sexuality, they highlight the risks associated with mandating parental involvement in adolescent health care. Moreover, the research findings will help to inform the debate about privacy and minors' access to health care.

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