JOURNAL ARTICLE

Ethical considerations concerning adolescents consulting for contraceptive services

T J Silber
Journal of Family Practice 1982, 15 (5): 909-11
7130918
Adolescents increasingly come to physicians' offices for contraceptive care. This raises the issue of parental involvement, often formulated in terms of conflict around the issues of consent and confidentiality. In the past two decades, a new philosophy has emerged that deals with the issues from a perspective of the "civil rights" of adolescents. This concept, referred to as the "mature minor doctrine," allows for parents or the state to represent the minors' interest only as long as the adolescent is not able to do so. The ethical justification for this position is based on the principles of autonomy and beneficence. The legal implications are being developed in state laws which recognize that teenagers should have access to confidential medical care in order to facilitate contraceptive knowledge and prevention of pregnancy.

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