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This Month in Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine
December 2004

This Month in Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2004;158(12):1103. doi:10.1001/archpedi.158.12.1103

A key tenet of adolescent medicine is that the occurrence and content of a physician-patient encounter is confidential unless the life of the patient or someone else is threatened. Changes in Texas law during the last few years require that parents give consent for minors to receive contraceptives and require that sexually active patients younger than 17 years be reported to the police. Franzini and colleagues examined the potential cost implications of these legislative changes that may result in teenagers foregoing reproductive health care. A projected additional 11 pregnancies per 100 teens currently receiving health care would occur, resulting in an increase of $44 million annually in health care costs in Texas alone. These are substantial costs and must be considered by legislators.