My comment, which you can think about while you're reading the article, is this:
Parents are legally responsible for their children until they turn eighteen. If your minor child causes property damage or injury you, as a parent, are liable and can be forced to pay for your child's actions.
As long as that remains true, parents have a corresponding legal right to control their children's actions. This includes, if the parent deems necessary, the right to read their emails and monitor their Internet activity, choose their friends, and limit their activities. It also gives the parent the right to be present for any and all conversations between their children and other people. Particularly when those people are acting in an official capacity, and that conversation could potentially have legal consequences for the parent.
I have not read this Michigan law, however I've seen this kind of thing before. It is almost certainly written as a mandate on the hospital (not the parent or the child) to OFFER the conversation. The hospital will use their admission contract, signed by the parent, to make the conversation contractually mandatory. In other words, read the admission form carefully, and cross out any language with which you do not agree. If you waive your rights, only you are to blame.
This is discussed in much greater detail in my book How to Survive Hospital Costs Without Insurance. See this link:
The article appeared here: http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2014/06 ... daughter/#When Christy Duffy took her 17-year-old daughter to her local hospital in Michigan, she was stunned to see a notice posted alerting parents that a nurse will need to “have a short 5 minute private conversation with your child.”
In a fiery blog post published on Monday, Duffy took a bold stand in favor of parental rights. She explains how the situation unfolded:
I was there last week for an appointment for Amy. She hurt her foot, which makes dancing difficult, so we had to get that checked out. Amy is 17; I asked if this policy was in effect and if so, how could I opt out. The receptionist told me it’s a new law and there is no opting out. Working to keep my cool, I said, “I’m sure there is.” She said, “No, there isn’t.” At which point I asked if I needed to leave and go to the urgent care center because I was not submitting my daughter to such a conversation.
That did not go over well
The receptionist closed the window. Almost immediately, the office manager turned the corner and said, “Mrs. Duffy, may I speak with you?”
She said there was a new policy that would allow a child to access his/her medical records online and the child would be allowed to block a parent from viewing the website. The nurse would also inform my children that the doctor’s office is a safe place for them to receive information about STDs, HIV and birth control. That is what the nurse would be chatting about with my children without any pesky parental oversight.
Refusing to back down, Duffy then says she “politely” informed the office manager that no one would be talking to her child privately and asked how she may opt out of the policy before she returned to the hospital for her daughter’s physical the next month.
“Make sure this is crystal clear: what they want to do is talk to your child about sex and drugs (maybe rock and roll – who knows?) without your input,” Duffy writes. “Is it really such a stretch to imagine that a doctor who does not value abstinence before marriage would encourage your daughters – as young as 12! – to receive birth control? Is it really such a stretch to imagine a nurse telling a young boy – because a 12 year old boy is a BOY – that she will give him condoms so he can be ‘safe’?”
She also made sure to snap a picture of the notice:
“I am the Mom. I will pick who can talk to my kids about sex and drugs. And rock-n-roll for that matter,” she adds in the post.
In a follow-up blog post published on Tuesday, Duffy revealed that a woman with the hospital’s “privacy department” called her on the phone after she sent an email seeking clarification.
Duffy claims she was informed that the law in Michigan requires a minor be given the ability to deny his or her parents access to the online portion of his or her medical records.
The “private” 5-minute conversation would cover the online account as well as information on STDs and birth control. The private conversation between a minor and a nurse is apparently not required by law.
The representative also said the particular hospital had “jumped the gun” by posting the sign because its not clear how the the policy will be implemented yet. The sign has reportedly been removed.
The mother says she’s not satisfied because “jumped the gun” doesn’t mean the policy will never be enforced.
“They will attempt to separate a child from her parent at an appointment. They just don’t know when,” she writes. “I have nothing to hide. I do not abuse my children. But that’s not the point. The point is that parents’ rights are eroding right in front of our eyes.”