Monday, May 23, 2005

Parents are Responsible for Everything, But Don't Need to Know Anything

According to this Associated Press article the U.S. Supreme Court is getting ready to hear a case regarding whether or not parents needs to be notified if their children, under the age of 18 (defined as "unemancipated minors in the law), decide to have an abortion.

This just blows my mind. I have kids. They can't even get Tylenol from a school nurse without my permission, and yet they can go through a major surgical procedure without me even being notified? We're not talking about getting permission here, were talking only about notification. In a day where schools, and about every other organization, are afraid to do anything without parental permission, it throws me that this kind of thing comes up. Honestly! Kids have to get permission to ride the bus, get over the counter medicine from school health officials, pursue athletics, and just about everything else. According to this, though, they can get an abortion without me even knowing about it.

What do you want to bet that I'll be liable for the bill, though?

It gets even worse. I found out this morning that according to Utah law, any minor over the age of 12 can keep all of their medical and psychological dealings private from their parents if they want to. Health practitioners aren't liable to talk to me about anything that relates to the health and wellbeing of my teen-age children. How stupid is that? How am I supposed to help my child, and support them through difficult times, if my hands are tied behind my back?

I may have a solution to this one, though. You just have to be willing to wreck your credit rating. Got a kid, or rather one of their doctors or councilors, that doesn't want to talk to you because by law they don't have to?

Don't pay them.

You read that right. Don't pay them. By refusing to talk to you, they've given you no reason to suspect that there is a problem, and so how can they justify the bill? Call your insurance provider and notify them as well. That way they won't be paying for what can only be construed as false claims.

They may take you to court (these kinds of people are very litigious), and you may lose, but maybe not, either. Then they'll have to talk about the patient's (your kid's) condition to someone to justify their claims. Then you counter-sue them in the name of your kid (their patient) for breach of professional ethics and breaking the law.

Are they so high and mighty that they want to keep you out of the loop and hold you liable for things they won't even talk to you about? They want to play games with you instead of doing what's morally, if not now legally, right? Hit 'em where it hurts. Hit 'em where they'll pay attention. Hit 'em in their pocketbook.

No comments: