Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free

Under 18 patient-doctor confidentiality Watch

    • #1
    • Thread Starter
    #1

    I've been recently referred to a psychiatrist by my family doctor... I was wondering if what I tell the psychiatrist would be completely confidential.

    Seeing as I'm under 18, I'm not 100% certain that it will be just between me and him, or if my parents are privy to the information if he feels strongly enough about it.

    Please advise!
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Anonymous)
    I've been recently referred to a psychiatrist by my family doctor... I was wondering if what I tell the psychiatrist would be completely confidential.

    Seeing as I'm under 18, I'm not 100% certain that it will be just between me and him, or if my parents are privy to the information if he feels strongly enough about it.

    Please advise!
    You can make your own medical decisions at 16 so it should be completely confidential, only reason it wouldn't be is if you pose a danger to yourself or to others and then they may tell your parents (although I'm not 100% sure about this or whether thats just at school).
    • PS Helper
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    It's confidential.

    If you're under sixteen, however, I believe that there are certain decisions that have to be made by your guardian.
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    Well first and foremost, everything you tell the psychiatrist will be confidential, and I'm sure that he/she will reiterate that to you. However, if there is something that he/she feels that may need to be mentioned to either your parents or other individuals then they will bring that up with you and discuss where to go from there. Don't worry though, everything is done in the best interests of the patient, I.e. yourself, and the psychiatrist will maintain your dignity regardless of their decision as to whether or not to let anyone else know about your thoughts and concerns.

    As the poster above me said, usually other parties are made aware of things if you pose a threat to yourself or others around you (and this has to be very serious before anyone else is consulted). I would strongly advise going to see the psychiatrist.

    One final thing you may/may not have known...your parents aren't legally allowed to go into the consultation room after you and ask for information on what you've discussed. So long as you're competent to understand and process the advice you've been given (and I'm guessing you are) then everything you tell the psychiatrist is confidential, with the exception of the scenarios I've posted above. So don't worry about the referral, it's probably for a good reason and will inevitably help you in the long term Psychiatrists are very nice people and I'm sure you'll be happy you went to see one.
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Ice_Queen)
    It's confidential.

    If you're under sixteen, however, I believe that there are certain decisions that have to be made by your guardian.
    Actually, this depends on various criteria, based on how competent the doctor feels his/her patient is. If they can take in information, process it, weigh up their available options and agree on a management plan based on working logic provided in the consultation, then they are competent and do not need to go through certain processes with a parent of guardian. It's known as Gillick competence and is one of those legal things that protects the rights of young adults/teenagers. Just to be pedantic :p:
    • PS Helper
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by graemematt)
    Actually, this depends on various criteria, based on how competent the doctor feels his/her patient is. If they can take in information, process it, weigh up their available options and agree on a management plan based on working logic provided in the consultation, then they are competent and do not need to go through certain processes with a parent of guardian. It's known as Gillick competence and is one of those legal things that protects the rights of young adults/teenagers. Just to be pedantic :p:
    Yes, but that's always the case. Any confidentiality agreement can be broken (with certain procedures) if the patient is incompetent to make decisions.
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Ice_Queen)
    Yes, but that's always the case. Any confidentiality agreement can be broken (with certain procedures) if the patient is incompetent to make decisions.
    Again, not necessarily. If someone made an agreement whilst competent and was later no longer deemed to be competent, then the prior agreement is not always breachable, based on the scenario. Just trying to say it's not always absolute.
    • #1
    • Thread Starter
    #1

    Thank you all for the reassurance.

    I occasionally self harm, but not with the intent to take my own life... so I didn't know if that was severe enough for him to tell my family.

    I'm hesitant about psychiatrists because a few years back I went to see one (for about a year), and he told everything to my parents. He was also not very sparing with prescriptions.

    That actually leads to another question... If the doctor prescribes a certain medication, do you have to take it? My last psychiatrist prescribed a lot of medication to me, and I got to a point that I felt totally numb to anything, which I don't want to happen again.

    Thank you all for your time!
    • TSR Support Team
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Anonymous)
    He was also not very sparing with prescriptions.

    That actually leads to another question... If the doctor prescribes a certain medication, do you have to take it? My last psychiatrist prescribed a lot of medication to me, and I got to a point that I felt totally numb to anything, which I don't want to happen again.

    Thank you all for your time!
    No you don't. Unless it's a community treatment order or you're in hospital involuntarily you don't have to take ****.

    Numbness kind of depends on what you're prescribed ime.
 
 
 
Reply
Submit reply
TSR Support Team

We have a brilliant team of more than 60 Support Team members looking after discussions on The Student Room, helping to make it a fun, safe and useful place to hang out.

Updated: December 7, 2010
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • Poll
    Did TEF Bronze Award affect your UCAS choices?
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

    Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

    Quick reply
    Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.