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teen's pregnancy case related health records

You are the hospital administrator, and this situation has been brought to your attention. The mother of a pregnant minor seeks to obtain the daughterâ??s medical records because she wishes to see if the daughter indicated to hospital personnel the identity of the father of her unborn child. The patient is a 12-year-old, unmarried youth who lives at home with her parents, and her parents are paying for her obstetrical care. The patient does not consent to the release of her medical records to her parents. The mother has made it known to you that she intends to sue if she does not get the records as a result of this request.
Step 1 â?" Identify the facts. You may itemize these in a bulleted list.
Step 2 â?" Identify any legal issues that are present with regard to privacy and confidentiality, and identify the doctrines and/or duties that apply. You may itemize these in a bulleted list.
Step 3 â?" In your own words, elaborate on the legal issues that are present in the scenario, if any.
Step 4 â?" Based on your readings and reference to the materials available on the HIPAA Advisory (found at, provide your answers to the following questions, and provide your rationale:
a. Who provides the consent to treat this young, pregnant woman?
b. How does your answer to â??aâ? above impact requirements imposed by HIPAA?
c. If you were the administrator, would you provide the records for the mother? Why or why not?
d. What other legal issues might be involved in this case that you or your staff should address, if any?
e. What role, if any, might the hospitalâ??s social services department or other staff play in this situation?

Solution Preview

Step 1
Pregnant Teen
12 year old patient, unmarried, living with both parents
patient will not consent to release medical records to parents
physician refuses to release records to parents
mother wants to know who father is
mother intends to sue

Step 2

Physician cannot release records unless child consents to have them released to parents

Medical staff have a duty to keep the patient's medical records secure

Patient has a right not to share medical records with parents, surrounding pregnancy issues

Step 3

While physicians in some states are required to protect the privacy of pregnant teenage patients, this limits any decisions that parents may be able to make in an emergency situation. What if the child is unable to make a decision regarding her care and parents cannot get all the facts to make an informed decision? Therefore, the physician is not ...

Solution Summary

A teen's pregnancy case is correlated to ethics and health records.