More Stories

Teen Pregnancy





Know Your Rights:
Confidentiality
Author: Shoutout Staff





Confidentiality means privacy. It means that when you, 
as a young person from 12 to 17 years old, talk with 
your health care provider about certain issues like 
sex, drugs, and feelings, he or she will not tell your 
parents or guardians what you talk about unless you 
give your permission.

Will my doctor or nurse tell my parents?
According to the laws of the State of California, your 
doctor or nurse cannot tell your parents or guardians 
anything about your exam if you’re seen for any co3-
3nfidential services. These include care for problems 
or concerns in the areas of sexuality, mental health 
and substance abuse. You, as a young person, can 
consent for care on your own in these areas. You need 
your parent or guardian’s consent for other health 
services such as physicals and care for colds, flu, 
and injuries.

What should I talk to the doctor or nurse about?
You can talk to your doctor or nurse about ANYTHING! 
Fill your doctor or nurse in if you…

• think you might be pregnant.
• need birth control.
• think you have a sexually transmitted disease (STD).
• need information about alcohol, tobacco, or other
  drug use.
• want to talk about personal, school, family issues,
  or feelings about sex and sexuality.

HOWEVER…
Some things cannot remain confidential. Your health 
care provider will need to contact someone else to 
help if you say…

• you are being abused, physically and/or sexually.
• you are going to hurt yourself or someone else.
• you are under 16 and having sex with someone 21 
  years or older.
• you are under 14 and having sex with someone 14
  years or older.

Even though you don’t have to ask your parents, it’s a 
good idea to talk with them or another adult you trust 
about the medical care you need. We want you to be 
safe.