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Confidentiality

gantree

 

  • One of the reasons that puts people off talking to doctors about things to do with sex and relationships is that they are worried that the doctor will tell someone that they know.
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  • Confidentiality is when doctors keep what you have told them private. If you are over 16, you are old enough to make your own decisions about sex and relationships and so the doctor won't talk to your parents unless you want him/her to.
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  • If you are under 16, the doctor will have to decide if you are competent (if you are mature enough to make your own decisions). If you are deemed competent, then the doctor does not have to involve your parents but if you aren’t then the doctor might have to ask them some questions to help work out what is best for you. Normally, people sensible enough to see a doctor when they need help are competent.
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  • There are a few exceptions to confidentiality: firstly, a doctor might want to talk to other doctors about you to get an expert opinion about what is best for you; secondly, doctors need to look after all their patients, so if you say that you are going to cause harm to yourself or someone else, they may need to break confidentiality.
Never forget!
You should NEVER have sex if you don't want to (whatever your age and whoever they are). It is ALWAYS illegal to force someone into having sex.

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