Case and Commentary
Nov 1999

Who Makes Contraceptive Decisions for Adolescents?

Faith Lagay, PhD
Virtual Mentor. 1999;1(3):18. doi: 10.1001/virtualmentor.1999.1.3.hlaw1-9911.


During your ambulatory care rotation, you are working with an OB/GYN at her office. A mother brings in her 15-year-old daughter for a gynecological examination. The mother regrets that she was sexually active at a young age and had a child as a teenage mother. The daughter has recently started dating. The mother believes that her daughter is sexually active and wants her to be put on a regimen of Depo-Provera. The daughter denies being sexually active and refuses to be placed on Depo-Provera. The mother is very insistent and believes this is for her daughter's "own good."

Questions for Discussion

  1. Who has the authority to make contraceptive choices in this case, the mother or daughter?
  2. What is the physician's duty?

See what the AMA Code of Medical Ethics says about this topic in Opinion 5.055 Confidential care for minors. American Medical Association. Code of Medical Ethics 2008-2009 Edition. Chicago, IL: American Medical Association; 2008:166-167.


Virtual Mentor. 1999;1(3):18.



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