Do minors have confidentiality of health care services?

Oregon law does not give minors a "right" to confidentiality or parents a "right" to disclosure. However, federal law may offer additional protections in some circumstances. When a minor self-consents for health care services, providers are encouraged to use their best clinical judgment in deciding whether to share information with the parent or guardian (ORS 109.650).*‡ However, most people, minors included, expect some level of confidentiality when receiving health care services.

Providers and adolescent patients should discuss usual confidentiality practices, as well the types of information that providers are required to report. This will have an impact on a minor's willingness to seek health care services they may have otherwise avoided. Rules that providers or facilities may have about minor confidentiality and disclosure are not intended to prohibit or discourage minors from accessing needed health care services, but to encourage proper support in the decision-making process.

Oregon law does protect providers from civil liability when a diagnosis or treatment is provided to an authorized
minor without the consent of the parent or legal guardian of the minor. (ORS 109.685).

  • For minors who self-consent for drug or alcohol treatment services in certain settings, providers are not permitted to disclose the minor's treatment records to the parent/guardian without written consent by the minor per federal regulation 42 CFR 2.14(b).
  • All clinics and/or providers who participate in Title X grant programs must follow federal regulations regarding confidentiality per 42 CFR 59.11.

Show All Answers

1. Who is considered a minor and why does this matter?
2. What is consent?
3. What are some common health services and consent?
4. Who has access to Family planning/sexual and reproductive health (ORS 109.610, ORS 109.640)?
5. What about consent to sex?
6. Do minors have confidentiality of health care services?