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A young person has the right to decide on their care

A minor, aged 12-17, can independently decide on their treatment once a healthcare professional has assessed that they are capable of making an informed decision, based on their age and level of development. The law does not define an age limit when it comes to decision-making capacity.

A professional always makes an assessment on a case-by-case basis. The assessment is made at each visit and is recorded in the medical record.

  • If a minor is judged to be capable of deciding about their treatment, the healthcare professional will ask if their guardians are allowed to see their medical records.
  • If they give permission, guardians can see the medical records via the Kanta service, when technically possible. The entries will only be visible when the welfare area’s new common customer and patient information system is gradually introduced in 2024–2025. The medical records are visible to guardians until the child turns 18.
  • If a minor does not give their consent, the guardians cannot see their medical records, even if it is technically possible. In addition, all communications, such as letters about follow-up treatments and invoices for visits, are addressed to the minor.

For example, minors can decide on their vaccines, ask for a renewal of their prescription, pick up their medicine at a pharmacy and use the MyKanta service if they have online banking credentials.

The article was published in Kotikäynti magazine, issue 1/2024