Consent, Confidentiality and Reporting of HIV Testing and Treatment of Adolescents
Research shows that when adolescents?medical decisions must be made on behalf of their parents, they may not want their parents to participate, and may even give up seeking medical care because they wished to keep private from their parents. From the perspective of the public health goal of promoting adolescents?health, how to balance the rights and obligations of parents to the upbringing and protection of adolescents with adolescents?right to make decisions for their own bodies and right to confidentiality for specific health issues? For health care providers, how do we ensure access to important medical care under the conflict of legal requirements and support for the rights of adolescents? This paper analyzes issues of adolescents?legal capacity to make medical decisions, rights to confidential testing and treatment, reporting requirements for epidemiology and law enforcement. Except for higher-risk medical interventions that the consent of a legal guardian is legally required, Taiwan does not specify an age of consent to general medical treatment and specific health needs with public health significance. No specific laws addressing maintaining confidentiality of adolescents?positive test results and treatment and the requirements of health care worker for reporting underage sex. To promote the best interests of adolescents, the law should systematically review the requirements for consent, confidentiality and mandatory reporting.