TI News Brief: Gov't Going too Far? Forced Child Detainment and Questioning in American Hospitals

by Erich

Would you be comfortable with your child being detained and questioned privately the next time you bring them in for a routine medical checkup like a physical?

Yeah, I wouldn’t either. But it’s happening.

There is now a new Michigan medical records access law that reportedly requires doctors to have a private conversation with minors when the parents bring them in for medical care.

Here’s the sign that Christy Duffy was confronted with when she brought her daughter in for a minor foot injury:

When Mrs. Duffy got home, she wrote this response on her blog as a public warning announcement:

Let’s get one thing straight: no doctor or nurse is going to sequester my children in an exam room and talk to them privately. Period. This public service announcement made necessary because of this sign, posted at the check-in counter of my doctor’s office.

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.

That did not go over well.

The receptionist closed the window. Almost immediately, the office manager turned the corner and said, “Mrs. Duffy, may I speak with you?”

She said there was a new policy that would allow a child to access his/her medical records online and the child would be allowed to block a parent from viewing the website. The nurse would also inform my children that the doctor’s office is a safe place for them to receive information about STDs, HIV and birth control. That is what the nurse would be chatting about with my children without any pesky parental oversight.

I kindly informed her that no one would be talking with my children privately, and I needed to know how to opt out of this policy before bringing Amy back for her physical next month. (Yay for physicals! Amy is so excited.)

By this time, the doctor was ready to see Amy so I had to cut the conversation short because I was not letting my girl out of my eyesight or earshot. Not when it was clear that these people were angling to undermine my parental authority.

Does that sound a bit dramatic to you? It shouldn’t. Because that is exactly what they are trying to do.

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”? Is this what you want told to your children without the ability to filter the info through your world view?

Should a doctor ever ask to speak to a child without a parent present? If he/she suspects abuse then of course. But short of evidence of abuse, a doctor should not need to speak to a child alone.

I am the Mom. I will pick who can talk to my kids about sex and drugs. And rock-n-roll for that matter.

Regardless what health care provider you choose, please know that no one has the right to remove you from your child’s exam room. Perhaps if more of us stood up for our rights as parents, this ludicrous undermining of parental authority might end.

This is just another example of the overreaching we’re seeing at all levels of the government.

You may think that this is a very minor thing but keep in mind that more and more of these laws are getting into the books with more coming.

It may start as something seemingly benign, but if we’re not careful and we let these “harmless” ones pass without resistance it’s only going to get much worse.

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Comment by William Tarbush
2014-06-06 18:51:03

I wonder if the Urgent Care Center Ms. Duffy brought her child to had the same policy (my suspicion is they would if this was really a state law)?
Here in Arizona, parents are asked if they are abusing their child or if there is any sexual abuse in the house. Yeah! Parents are always telling physicians when the parents are abusing children (/sarcasm).

Comment by Magicmanmb
2014-06-07 19:39:00

My sons Dr. asked about firearms & drugs in house. AMA request. The Dr. was told unless it concerned medical care mind his own business.

Comment by Olivia
2014-06-07 21:03:36

I am a retired nurse and I would never exam or question a minor unless there is a parent there. It is for my protection too. I could get accused of anything including sexual touching.
I don’t trust the medical profession anymore…..check out how Russia ran their schools and doctors and hospital, they had kids reporting on their parents for everything, it was an easy way to spy into the homes. Our country is already going there, as this article explains. And just a word of warning…..all our medical records are on the computer….therefore you have no privacy at all…….with just a few clicks and once your information is out there, you can’t get it back.bPg3 As parents most people don’t realize that more and more our kids are informed that they don’t need their parents approval for abortions, birth control……..what next? I don’t trust a teenager to make good decisions about many things, but to trust them to make life or death decisions……NEVER.

Comment by Sandy
2014-06-07 21:10:28

I had an experience a few weeks ago when I took my daughter to the ER. I have a Christian Medical Share plan, not regular medical ins. My plan is an eligible option under the ACA. The hospital wanted to put my daughter on ‘Medicaid” right then and there. I refused. They were not happy. Then they insisted on giving my daughter a pregnancy test which I also refused. They said we couldn’t refuse. My daughter stated that she had no reason to have a pregnancy test. They still insisted. Talk about making a good kid feel really bad. Oh, they threatened to call security when I wouldn’t leave my daughter alone with any of them. Too bad!

Comment by desertrat144
2014-06-08 16:59:48

Interesting, very interesting, but there’s something screwy! Is this POLICY or LAW? Unless Michigan has some exceptions, when a law is cited by an enforcing authority, there is normally a reference to that law being cited. If they cannot give you the statute, give them a wave with one finger a you leave.

Once you get the statute number look it up. There should be exceptions and specific methods spelled out in that law. You then need to look for its equal in the MI Administrative Codes, those are the specific ROE. Learn them, make copies and keep them with you, as they will have the specific ROE spelled out.

Now, whoever came up with what was described in the MI Legislature and voted for it needs to be removed. Take the CO approach (impeachment or equal).

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