Minor Children’s Right to Consent for Medical Treatment
CHAS Health serves patients in both Washington and Idaho. Both states have laws that permit minors (children under the age of 18) to consent or agree to certain types of healthcare services. These laws also require that all healthcare providers treat these healthcare services confidentially.
To comply with these state laws, CHAS Health deactivates all portal accounts and text reminders for parents and guardians that provide access to minor patients’ healthcare information.
What types of services may minors consent to?
The states of Washington and Idaho allow minor patients to consent for the following services, depending on the patient’s age:
- Birth control services
- Prenatal care
- Sexually transmitted diseases and infections
- Outpatient substance abuse treatment
- Behavioral health
What does this mean for me as a parent?
CHAS Health encourages parental involvement in their child’s healthcare and respects a parent’s authority to make healthcare decisions for their child. To the extent possible, parents will be involved in child’s healthcare. Parents may continue to access information about their child’s healthcare. However, Washington and Idaho State laws grant minors the right to consent to some healthcare services, as listed above.
These laws also require healthcare providers to treat these visits with confidentially. Therefore, if your child consents to one of the above services on their own, to comply with state law, CHAS Health will not be able to share information with you regarding those visits.
To simplify CHAS Health’s ability to comply with these laws, CHAS Health deactivates portal accounts and text reminders for all parents and guardians that provide access to minor patient’s healthcare information. Parents will still be able to access billing information regarding your minor child. In addition, parents will continue to have access to their child’s healthcare information for other services by contacting CHAS Health and requesting those records.
Turning off access to portal accounts and text reminders applies to all patients ages 12 through 17 and does not mean that your child has received healthcare services without your knowledge.
I’m under 18 years of age – what does this mean for me?
When minors visit a provider at CHAS Health, there are certain services they may consent to without parental involvement (see “What types of services may a minor consent to?” above). When minors see a CHAS Health provider for these types of services, CHAS Health will take steps to ensure the confidentiality of those visits by limiting portal account access and disabling text reminders. This means that for these services CHAS Health will not share your healthcare information with anyone else, unless you give CHAS Health permission.