An Expansion of the Rights of Minors Relating to Patient Records

California law provides that any adult patient and any minor patient authorized by law to consent to medical treatment, is entitled to inspect and request a copy of their medical record upon written request to the healthcare provider and payment of reasonable costs to make the record available. (California Health and Safety Code Section 123110)

Under AB 2088 (Santiago), minors authorized by law to consent to medical treatment, are now legally entitled to submit a written addendum to their medical record to correct any information believed to be inaccurate or incomplete. This change in the law means that minors now have the same rights as adults to addend their record! Addenda are limited to 250 words per alleged incomplete or inaccurate statement or item. Patients must also include a written statement indicating that the addendum is to be made a part of the medical record. The addendum must be included in the medical record and disclosed to third parties whenever the patient authorizes release of that portion of the medical record.

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Minors with the legal authority to consent to medical care, generally fall under two categories: minors who, according to their status, have the authority to consent to general medical treatment (e.g. married, emancipated, self-sufficient etc.) and those who are legally entitled to consent to medical care based on specific diagnoses and treatment.

Generally, a parent has the right to inspect or request a copy of their minor child’s medical record. However, in cases where the minor has the legal authority to independently consent to medical care, a parent is not entitled to inspect or obtain copies of records related to minor consented care. As with adults, when minors are legally entitled to consent to care, healthcare providers may only share a minor’s medical records with a third party (including parents and legal guardians), after obtaining signed authorization from the minor.

For further information on the consent rights of minors, please click here.

To download a copy of the Medical Release form, please click here.

 

Authored by Catherine Miller JD, RN
Senior Risk Management Specialist, CAPAssurance