How does everyone approach the under 18 year old who comes to the ED alone for a problem that is not covered by the usual confidentiality exceptions (ie STD care)?
Assuming you have done the required medical screening exam and have determined that there is not an immediate emergency, and that the parents are not available, do you refuse to provide any treatment at that point? Do you document that you tried to contact the parents and then provide care (ie-pain management for a toothache, antibiotics for a minor infection, etc.) (Let's assume the patient is over the age of 16).
Angela M. Tangredi, MD
St. Luke's/Roosevelt Hospital Center
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