Parents need knowledge of drugs given to children

Posted: Friday, July 21, 2000

How many of you parents feel that you have the right to know that your child was raped, has a sexual disease, and what kind of prescriptions your child is currently on? I am sure all of you do.

Not according to state law AS.09.65.110(4), which reads ``A minor may give consent for diagnosis, prevention or treatment of pregnancy and venereal diseases.'' No parent consent is required for the services. The Teen Health Center at the Juneau-Douglas High School says students will not get the help that they need if they are required to tell the parents. To my understanding of this statement it is implying that all of us parents are insensitive, incompetent and cruel, and that we have no right to know what is happening in our family. I would like to think that mediation between the parent and child would be more conciliatory and safer. The truth is that these people who are giving prescription drugs and referrals for abortions for our children without our knowledge are putting their health at risk.

It is ironic how schools have to notify the parents to give students Tylenol but do not have to call when it comes to prescription drugs. When your child has a severe reaction to the prescription given by the health clinics, the medical treatment to reverse it is delayed because the parents and primary physicians are not aware that the child is on any medication. This may result in the child having permanent damage or death. Parents are responsible for the emergency room and doctor's bills for all emergencies due to drugs being prescribed by the Health Center without our knowledge. Does that seem right?

There is an unlimited age to when a child can obtain these medications that the state of Alaska can prescribe without your knowledge. Very young children can receive these drugs. The state and school district appear to be not concerned of the long-lasting affects of these drugs. Our children are on these medications longer than an adult, which may result in lifetime consequences or death. The state also provides references to your children to where they can go for an abortion without your knowledge. Does this sound frightening? I would hope so.

In conclusion, we would like everyone to understand why it is important that we get back control of what happens with our children when it comes to medical procedures and that the government stays out of it. There is a bill coming to the attention of the legislators which returns the rights of parents when it comes to the health and welfare of our children. The bill is SSHB 329.

Erin Ahrens


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