11/2/2023 Grand Rounds

13 going on 30: Autonomy and Adolescents


Rachel Conrad, M.D.
Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist and lecturer, Harvard Medical School Center for Bioethics;
Co-Director of the Harvard Neuroethics Hub and Co-director of the Medical Ethics and Professionalism II at Harvard Medical School.

Balancing the respect for autonomy and duty to protect safety is a challenge in the psychiatric treatment of patients at any age, yet even more fraught when working with adolescents and young adults. The ethical guidelines and legal standards do not always align. Doctors, parents, schools, universities, and even social media companies may have duties to protect our youth.

Learning Objectives:
    1. Describe core concepts and guidelines related to patient autonomy.
    2. Express complexities specific to adolescent and young adult patients.
    3. Describe the duties to protect the safety of youth in a series of scenarios including the university campuses and social media contagion.