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MNAAP Newsletter

The Nitty Gritty of Providing Adolescent Confidential Services

DaveAugheyDave Aughey, MD, FAAP, Children’s Minnesota

Minnesota’s “Minor Consent” statute allows adolescents to receive confidential sexual health services. The statute does not mandate that clinicians need to provide confidential care. But if services are provided confidentially, the clinician is obligated to do everything possible to ensure 100 percent privacy for the patient.

This is an implied contract between the clinician and the patient and is consistent with “Do no harm.” When confidentiality is broken, not only is the patient’s trust violated, but a variety of harms may occur.

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Endocannabinoids and Autism Spectrum Disorder: Facts, Not Hype

LucienGonzalezLucien Gonzalez, MD, MS, FAAP, Diplomate of ABAM, University of Minnesota

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has been added to the list of qualifying medical conditions for Minnesota Medical Cannabis. Patients certified to have ASD will be eligible to enroll in the program on July 1, 2018 and receive cannabis extracts from the state’s approved vendors beginning August 1, 2018.

Minnesota joins only Pennsylvania and Georgia in specifically including autism among their lists of qualifying conditions for young people. In Delaware, autism is a qualifying condition for adults only.

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Gender Nonconformity: Understanding Steps and Care

By Rhamy Magid, MD, FAAP, HCMC

Increasingly, primary care pediatricians, as well as pediatric subspecialists, are caring for youth who identify as transgender or gender nonconforming (GNC). Rather than an increase in prevalence, this phenomenon is more likely a testament to a gradually improving cultural environment, both nationally and in the state of Minnesota.

In the 2016 Minnesota Student Survey, 3 percent of 9th graders and 2 percent of 11th graders considered themselves transgender, genderqueer, genderfluid, or were unsure about their gender identity. We have a responsibility and an opportunity to lift the health and the spirits of one of our most vulnerable patient subpopulations.

In the AAP’s July 2017 Statement in Support of Transgender Children, Adolescents and Young Adults, Drs. Stein and Remley affirm that the Academy “stands in support of transgender children and adults, and condemns attempts to stigmatize or marginalize them…As pediatricians, we know that transgender children fare much better when they feel supported by their family, school and larger community…The AAP supports policies that are gender-affirming for children.”

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Promoting Updated Sleep Recommendations: What Communities Need to Know

By Keith L. Cavanaugh, MD, FAAP, FCCP, ABIM, Medical Director, The Sleep Center at Children’s Minnesota,
& Julie Dahl, APRN, CNP, Executive Director, MN Sleep Society School Start Time Committee, Respiratory Consultants PA

As pediatricians, we commit our lives to the well-being of children. I state the obvious, pointing out the concerns you would have if you saw a toddler unattended by a swimming pool, a child riding a bicycle without a helmet or a teenager texting while driving. These things should scare you to see a child at risk for harm. What if you saw a toddler in a supermarket at 9 p.m., a child at hockey practice at 8 p.m. or a high school student with four hours of homework keeping him or her up past midnight? Do these scenarios draw the same level of concern? They should. Adequate sleep is as critical as nutrition when it comes a child’s success in life.

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Inclusive and Equitable Care for LGBTQ Patients


By Angela Kade Goepferd, MD, FAAP, Director of Medical Education, Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota and Rhamy N. Magid, MD

As pediatricians, we are dedicated to the health of all children. Increasingly, this means addressing matters of sexual health, including sexual orientation and gender identity. Issues surrounding the rights of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) community have finally come to the forefront of public discourse in our country, presenting us with the opportunity to highlight the health needs of our LGBTQ patients.

As noted by the AAP Committee on Adolescence, “Being a member of this group of teenagers is not, in itself, a risk behavior…however, the presence of stigma from homophobia and heterosexism often leads to psychological distress, which may be accompanied by an increase in risk behaviors.” LGBTQ youth are at significantly higher risk than their peers for a number of health problems, including depression, suicidality, substance abuse, anxiety, eating disorders, homelessness, bullying, physical assault, survival sex, and sexual abuse. They are also significantly less likely to feel supported and understood by their parents, teachers and health care providers.

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