While we were in AL for Mom's surgery a few weeks ago, my sister shared that at the age of 14, children have to sign a waiver for their parents to stay in the room with them during the exam or to see their charts or receive health information on their child from the doctor.
Yes, you read that correctly. At age FOURTEEN.
As in, they are not legally old enough to drive. Most boys do not even have facial hair. They cannot work part-time at a fast food place. They cannot drop out of school.
And yet, our country thinks they are old enough to make their own medical decisions, even though they cannot pay their own medical bills yet.
I'm still aghast.
On a slightly funnier note, my sister said on the way out of the office, my nephew wasn't slouching. His head was up high, his shoulders pulled back. And what was he so happy about? He didn't have to accept a shot if he didn't want one. To him, that's what making his own medical decisions was all about. We all laughed about that, but it scares me that our laws place such a responsibility on children who are simply not ready for that.
I've heard from Moms who've encountered this with their daughters, and it seems that female doctors are stricter on enforcing this, sometimes going as far as asking Moms to leave the room so the daughter can give consent/rejection in private, or to ask about "personal" issues. Many Moms have simply walked out of the office with daughter in tow. I think I would have to remind the doctor as the one footing the bill, I had every right to know what was happening to my ward.
Parents can go to jail for a truant child. Parents can be charged for underage drinking, even if they weren't aware it was happening (usually in the case of a death). And yet, parents need their child's permission to be present when seeing a doctor?
I think our country has lost the vast majority of its common sense.