You receive a call from the preoperative holding area regarding your 9 am scheduled case for excision of a leg lesion in an otherwise healthy 15 year old girl.The nurse tells you that the preoperative pregnancy test is positive. The patient is currently waiting with her parents, who are her surrogate decision makers, and consent for surgery has already been signed by them.
How will you notify the patient and her parents of her test results?
a) Tell both the patient and parents about the positive pregnancy test
b) Ask the parents if you may speak privately with the patient and relay the results to the patient in privacy and encourage her to share this information with her parents
c) Ask to speak with the parents privately and relay the results to them
d) Contact the available social worker and ask her to discuss the positive test results with the patient
Although the patient is a minor and lacks the legal ability to provide consent, she has the right to physician-patient confidentiality. If maintaining confidentiality may cause harm to the child (for example, when a teenage girl becomes suicidal after being told she is pregnant), then the strategy must change and usually involves both parents and other expert consultation.
- This question originally printed in the Pediatric Anesthesiology Review Topics kindle book series, and appears courtesy of Naerthwyn Press, LLC.