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In this case, they may have to speak with your parent or guardian or with a ‘relevant authority’.
The relevant authority is usually Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, who are responsible for the wellbeing of children and young people.
While you may be entitled to confidential care, you may not be entitled to consent to treatment.
Yes…In Ireland, turning 18 years-old means you are legally an adult, so you get to make your own decisions.
This way you have the power to decide what you want to share with them.
Although linked quite closely, there is a difference between confidentiality and consent.
However, there are some situations where they are legally obliged to report information, like if they have serious concerns about your safety, or the safety of someone else. It can be pretty difficult to tell people personal things, so it’s important you trust that person and are aware of what they can keep confidential and what they might have to talk to someone else about.
This may be a counsellor, teacher, youth worker or social worker.
Another exception to this rule for people of any age (under and over 18 years-old) is if your health professional, youth worker, counsellor or teacher becomes concerned that you may be at risk killing or seriously harming yourself or someone else.
In this situation the person you are talking to might need to break confidentiality in order to keep you or another person safe.
If a health professional, a counsellor, youth worker or teacher does have to report a situation, they should definitely talk to you about it first.
This may be scary but the reason they might have to tell someone else is because they are worried and want to help keep you safe.
For more information about the legal age to confidential health care in Ireland check out the free legal advice centres. Doctors are not required to report illegal drug use to the Gardaí.