Parental rights may be infringed upon, courtesy of a new Michigan law which separates children from their mothers and fathers while at the doctor’s office and the hospital.
Christy Duffy penned a blog post entitled, “I am the Mom” to share her shock and confusion over the new rule with other parents in the state.
When taking her 17-year-old daughter to a Michigan doctor’s office for an appointment over a foot injury, she was met with a sign that raised parental rights concerns and caused her blood to boil. The sign read, “A nurse will need to have a short 5 minute private conversation with your child.”
Christy Duffy had this to say about the experience in her Monday blog post:
“I was there last week for an appointment for Amy. She hurt her foot, which makes dancing difficult, so we had to get that checked out. Amy is 17; I asked if this policy was in effect and if so, how could I opt out. The receptionist told me it’s a new law and there is no opting out. Working to keep my cool, I said, ‘I’m sure there is.’ She said, ‘No, there isn’t.’ At which point I asked if I needed to leave and go to the urgent care center because I was not submitting my daughter to such a conversation.”
The Michigan mom’s questioning of the new law did not go over well with the nurse, according to the blog post. After refusing to have her minor child questioned or given information without her supervision, she was reportedly approached by an office manager. The manager allegedly informed her that the new policy would permit a child to access his or her medical records online and the minor had the power to block parents from reviewing the healthcare documents.
The Michigan doctor’s office manager also reportedly told Christy Duffy that during the five-minute private conversation with her daughter a nurse would discuss birth control options, HIV, and share information about sexually transmitted diseases. This conversation and information sharing would occur with children as young as 12.
Duffy would not back down on the parental rights issue. According to the “I am the Mom” blogger, she politely told the doctor’s office manager that she would not be separated from her daughter in order for a stranger to have a private conversation with her about sex and birth control. Duffy then asked if there was an opt out policy regarding the five-minute private conversation. Mother and daughter were planning on returning to the Michigan medical facility for a sport’s physical in July.
The Michigan mom also had this to say in about the new law which may intrude upon parental rights:
“Make sure this is crystal clear: what they want to do is talk to your child about sex and drugs (maybe rock and roll – who knows?) without your input. Is it really such a stretch to imagine that a doctor who does not value abstinence before marriage would encourage your daughters – as young as 12! – to receive birth control? Is it really such a stretch to imagine a nurse telling a young boy – because a 12 year old boy is a BOY – that she will give him condoms so he can be safe? I am the Mom. I will pick who can talk to my kids about sex and drugs, And rock-n-roll for that matter.”
The day after the parental rights blog post a woman from the Michigan medical facility’s “privacy department” responded to Christy Duffy’s email about the situation. The woman claims that the new state laws does give minors the ability to block their records from parental viewing and affirmed the topics of the five minute private conversation with a nurse – but such a chat is not mandatory. The privacy department staffer said the facility “jumped the gun” when posting the sign because the process for implementing the Michigan law is not yet written in stone.
What do you think about parents being separated from their children at doctor’s appointments and minors having the ability to hide their medical records?
[Image Via: Shutterstock.com]