Friday, October 21, 2011
I found out yesterday in my theory class that Virginia state law does not allow medical professionals to share the diagnosis of an STD in a teenager with the parent. This makes me angry! In a minor child, the parent is responsible for teaching them how to live and to provide correction, education and redirection when a child with poor judgment is making bad decisions. How can they do that when it's a secret?!?! I understand that the idea is that a teenager will be comfortable seeking medical treatment for their sexual activities if they do not fear their parents. But clearly the child isn't smart enough to figure out that if they are afraid of the consequences, they are doing something they shouldn't be doing in the first place. Teenagers are immature and irresponsible sometimes and that is why they have parents to help them. They don't have enough experience to make the right decision 100% of the time. That's why they are considered minors and their parents are responsible for them! It seems so silly! I can't believe that such contradictory laws exist. When it comes to any other medical condition, the parents make the decision even if it's against the wishes of their 17 year old child. Why are STDs different? It would make more sense to me to allow a child with cancer or a life threatening disease who has the time to discuss the options and their decisions with adults to make their own medical choices than to hide diagnoses indicating poor sexual choices from parents. I agree with allowing the child to consent to treatment from a physician for STDs, but the parents still need to know. The child needs to be protected if they are making decisions that are leading to preventable illnesses like STDs. How can the state prevent the parents from knowing about their child's behavior and protecting their child from decisions that may change their lives??? I just don't understand and I don't like it and I would LOVE to know how to change it!