T O P I C R E V I E W
Member # 39159
posted 07-04-2008 11:39 PM
I'm going to the gynecologist for the first time in a few weeks. I want to get on the pill - partially because of period problems but also for birth control. My mom set up the appointment for me, and knows I want the pill, but she thinks it's only for my period - I'd rather be a little dishonest about my motives than have to be sneaky about the whole thing and wind up in actual trouble later. She thinks I'm a virgin and I'm worried about her finding out that I'm not.
I know about doctor-patient confidentiality (and have read this sexpert question: http://www.scarleteen.com/article/advice/will_they_tell_my_mother), but does this still apply when you're a minor and still dependent on your parents? I'm 17. The clinic sent some forms in the mail about my medical history and surprise, surprise, there are questions about being sexually active. And because I'm under 18, there are also places for her to sign and fill things in - even on the sheet about privacy and whom I do and do not want them sharing my info with! I don't know what to do. I know I could actually go the appointment alone, and I plan to, but even if I tell my doc the truth in person I would be worried about lying on the sheet. Any advice? How much do the medical history sheets really matter if my doc ultimately knows that I'm sexually active and all of why I want the pill? How much confidentiality can I expect as a minor? Thanks!
Member # 3
posted 07-05-2008 01:15 PM
Laws in the U.S. still provide you complete privacy and confidentiality in this respect. The only time it can be broken for minors in this regard is if, for instance, it turned out you were HIV positive and not treating yourself so your life was in danger.
But if you're more comfortable being oblique on the history forms but being honest with your doctor in person, I don't see any reason that isn't okay, and know, too, that that's not an uncommon issue for people of any age. For instance, at the clinic, I have often had prostitutes not list their occupation as such on their forms, but then disclose that to me in counseling so we could address the related health issues. While there's no way we would have broken privacy laws and reported their occupations to anyone, I get why they'd feel uncomfortable putting them on paper, and it's not a hindrance or a problem for them not to. Just know, though, that your doctor will probably still chart what you report, because it is important to have information relevant to your health in charting.