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Minor's Rights Versus Parental Rights: Review of Legal Issues in Adolescent Health Care

Authors

  • Ann Maradiegue C-FNP, MSN

    Corresponding author
      George Mason University, College of Nursing and Health Science, 6150 Beachway Drive, Falls Church, VA 22041-1429.
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    • Ann Maradiegue, C-FNP, MSN, is a Family Nurse Practitioner and Faculty member at George Mason University in Fairfax, VA.


George Mason University, College of Nursing and Health Science, 6150 Beachway Drive, Falls Church, VA 22041-1429.

Abstract

The right of adolescents to access confidential health care is sensitive and controversial. Recent challenges in the court system to adolescents' right to access abortion and contraception are eroding current law, including the Roe v Wade decision. The prospect of more than a million pregnancies in individuals under the age of 20 years in the United States with increasingly fewer alternatives to pregnancy is concerning. New regulations under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act are adding yet another layer of complexity to the care of adolescents. Understanding legal issues surrounding adolescent rights to care can help the health care provider make appropriate care available to this age group. Keywords previously identified in CINAHL and MEDLINE were used to perform the literature search. LexisNexis was the search engine used to identify the laws and statutes.

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