State law generally determines who has the right to grant permission to disclose medical record information on behalf of a patient. This power is generally granted to: Many states have laws on emancipated minors. These are people who have not reached the age of majority (usually 18 years) and who have been legally allowed to take on most adult tasks before reaching adulthood. Emancipated minors assume full responsibility for their own care and are no longer considered to be under the care and control of their parents. Often, the best response is to listen to the patient`s concerns, talk to them about the situation in general, and advise them to discuss the situation with their parents. Avoid giving lectures or judging. Be concerned and reassure the patient that you recognize that they have entrusted you with very sensitive information. Reiterate that they need to inform their parents or guardians of the situation to ensure they are receiving appropriate care. Dentists and their staff should always watch for signs of abuse and/or neglect and whether state laws require such signs to be reported. It is important to note that obligations to report abuse or neglect are sometimes found in laws other than state dental offices. Additional information on reporting abuse or neglect can be found in Section 3.E and Notice 3.E.1. the ADA Code of Ethics and Code of Conduct. Practical Success Guide| Occupational Risk Management | The consent process.