Friday, October 19, 2007

Shame on Maine!

This story out of Maine is shocking.

Allowing school nurses at King Middle School to dispense birth control medication is just wrong and it's dangerous.Ahh--you may be saying "but they have to have parental permission".

Yes and no.

The students only need parental permission to be treated at the student health center, but state law mandates that the treatment is confidential and students may decide if they want to tell their parents about what treatment they receive.

One parent, Richard Verrier, was quoted in the piece as saying,

"Unfortunately, not every child is getting the kind of parental involvement that is going to help keep them safe. If my daughter were not able to talk with me about something, if she couldn't reach me for whatever reason, to keep her safe and healthy, I would want to make sure she had access to those resources from trusted adults."

Really Mr. Verrier? You think someone else is better qualified to decide what's best for your daughter than you are?

There are many issues here, like the line being crossed by schools, the severe lack of parental responsibility, and the dangers facing these very young girls who are taking this medication.

It's shocking that so many parents actually think that if they don't know how to deal with the problem, they can just rely on the schools to solve it for them. It's one thing if your troubled teen has trouble talking to you about some things, at least they should have an adult like a teacher or counselor known and trusted by the parent, whom the student can talk to. After all it's important that if a young person approaches us with a problem, we try to offer responsible and moral advice. But it's a whole other thing when the responsibility of the non-parent turns into making major life decisions and dispensing dangerous medication to young people. That's where I draw the line.

Birth control prescriptions in the form of pills, patches, and injections can be dangerous even to some adult women, but for young girls in the early years of puberty, there are studies which clearly show that using hormonal contraceptives during puberty increases the risk of breast cancer up to six times the norm. There is evidence that synthetic estrogens and progestins in the pills are dangerous in that they deprive the body of hormones needed for proper growth and development. Use of the pill at such a young age can even lead to infertility.

Why would any parent want to put their daughter at risk? Why would any parent want to put this huge life-altering responsibility in the hands of their daughter who is not mature enough to handle making such a decision? Why would any parent want anyone other than themselves helping their daughter deal with an issue such as this?

It's all too simple these days for medical professionals to suggest popping a pill to solve a problem. As we all know this is a common problem among adults.

Please let's not do this to our children!!

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