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June 27, 2019

Minor’s Right To Consent Over Parents’ Objections

In the ongoing debate over the risks and benefits of vaccinations, many parents have opposed vaccinations for their children due to alleged negative side effects that are unconfirmed by the scientific community. In some cases, minors have requested vaccinations against their parents’ objections, but a minor’s right to consent varies from state to state. Virtually all states have laws permitting minors to make independent, confidential clinical decisions regarding certain health care services, such as those related to sexual health, reproduction, mental health, and substance use disorders. Physicians who treat adolescents should be aware of the guidelines governing federal and state funding sources for particular services, particularly when applicable guidelines often contain specific requirements related to confidentiality.