Your medical records are confidential. This means that the only people who can see your records are:
- your doctors or other health care providers who need to see it to take care of you
- a person who can legally make health care decisions for you. This person may be your parents (if you are under age 18) or your legal guardian.
- anyone who you say is okay to see your records. You may have to write it down and sign the paper to say it’s okay.
- officials who oversee health care
You have the right to see or get copies of your own records. Other people can only see or get copies of your records if you say that it’s okay. Even your family members can’t see or get copies of your records unless you say it’s okay.
If you're under 18, there may be times when your parents or guardians aren’t allowed to see some of your medical records.
- Your parent or guardian can’t see your medical records, unless you say it’s okay, if you have been or are currently:
- in the military or
- have been legally emancipated by a court. (To be legally emancipated means that the court has said you can make decisions for yourself even if you are still a minor.)
- You have to say it’s okay for your parent or guardian to see your medical records if the records are about medical services that you didn’t need your parent’s permission to get. This might include treatment for:
- sexually transmitted diseases
- drug dependence or
- treatment for rape or other types of sexual abuse