Jan 6, 2010

Your 18-year-old "adult"

So your child has turned 18! That's a big step enroute to adulthood. But unless your child is one of the rare few, she hasn't quite arrived just yet. Not many 18-year-olds are full-fledged adults, emotionally or economically. But legally? Well, that's another matter. In the eyes of the law, your child is considered an adult in many respects.

For example, once your child turns 18, you no longer have automatic access to his/her medical records. This could make it tough for you to get information or to assist your child in the event he encounters a medical emergency.

As a loving parent of a teenager, you may think it's outrageous that a physician would not readily share such information with you. However, in our litigious society, where medical providers are required to dot every “i” and cross every “t” to comply with complex federal privacy laws, it can and does happen.

If your child is over 18, you may want to suggest that he establish a health care surrogate (aka health care power of attorney) authorizing you to make his medical decisions if he cannot, and/or receive information from his medical providers . This document would allow you to assist him in the event he runs into a medical problem. The document should have specific provisions for the release of confidential HIPAA information. Avoid using store-bought or on-line forms!

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...