Thursday, July 23, 2009

What Not to Know

My oldest and youngest had physicals yesterday. I'm not normally good at getting them done on time, but my son required one as a sports physical so he can play sports for his last 3 years of HS. My youngest was due too so I had them both together. She was easy. No shots, this time, but we will have to go back for a lab appt to have a few boosters. My son...OY. That one had me reeling.

First and foremost, at 15 he has officially surpassed me in height. I'm 5'9 3/4 (I'm shrinking...I used to be 5'10) he is now 5'10. But that was pretty much to be expected (me...with a dad who is 6'4). It was the "questionnaire" that had me flummoxed.

He was given a questionnaire to fill out and I was given a consent form to complete. Telling me that this questionnaire is confidential between the Dr and patient and they, according to MN state law, are bound by Dr/patient confidentiality. I had been officially cut out of the information loop and I had issues.

My son is 15 and all in all, a good kid. We talk about a multitude of things, some of which he finds embarrassing, some of which he feels comfortable enough to discuss at length. We've discussed most of the things that are readily covered in school but with a more conservative slant. Sex, for example, we've discussed what has been taught at school. But I've taken it a step further and spoken to him about yes, there are ways that CAN help prevent disease/pregnancy, but there is only one fool proof method: abstinence. Schools don't teach that. So, we've had many discussions along these lines.

So, I'm sitting in the next room with the youngest when the nurse comes in and tells me that I have forgotten to sign the consent form. To which I replied, no, I didn't forget, I have chosen not to until I speak with his Dr. I seem to have surprised her (the nurse). I then went in to speak with my son and ask him if there was anything on that form that he would not like me to see. He said no. I asked if he was completely honest on the form and he said yes otherwise the questionnaire is pointless. He handed me the questionnaire to read his responses and I chose not to. After the youngest's glowing physical, I asked to speak with the Dr regarding the consent form and my reservations.

Don't get me wrong, I do not have my head buried in the sand with regard to our family not being like all families, but in my opinion the state is now pandering to the lowest common denominator. I think there are a small percentage of children who might be in a position of bodily harm from a parent who may not agree with the child's choices. The majority of the parents, who have their child's best interest at heart, are inconsequential. But as a parent, I am emotionally, physically, spiritually, morally and financially responsible for my child until they are 18. That gives me a vested interest in being involved with all decisions regarding my child. ALL decisions. Some I may not like, but I will ultimately do what is best for my child. If I have to abdicate the decision making process with my child, what I would like to know is, who then picks up the emotional, physical, moral and financial responsibility of which I have been so carefully and purposefully excluded? Or does the state just get a say in their physical (and possibly emotional) well being without realizing that they are all intricately tied together?

The issue is not a tangible one, at least for us. Instead it is an issue of principle. I do not need, nor want, a nanny state telling me what can and cannot be discussed about my child and his/her physical health. *I* am responsible for that child so it is my RIGHT to know what drugs are being prescribed, what tests are being performed, and what issues my child may be faced with in order to help my child come to a safe and informed decision.

No comments:

Post a Comment