Children at the Doctor’s Office

Date:        July 5, 2018
Host:        Jim Schneider
Guest:      Michele Lentz
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​​This Crosstalk was presented as a warning as to what’s going on in some doctor’s offices. As a parent, have you ever been told to leave the examining room or that you’re not allowed to accompany your child there. Why is this taking place and how widespread is this practice?
Joining Jim to present the answers was Michele Lentz. Michele is the president of the Child Protection League which is committed to promoting the welfare of children and protecting them from exploitation, indoctrination and violence. They educate on issues that threaten the safety of children.

The discussion began by looking at a dangerous teen questionnaire focusing on what one health care provider is doing in Minnesota. A parent came to Michele with this questionnaire that the parent was told would be given to her pre-teen. The parent let it be known that the doctor couldn’t see her child without her there and that they didn’t have her authority to have one-on-one time with her child while administering the questionnaire.
The questionnaire Michele has was created by Health Partners and she believes it was updated in March of 2018 and there may even be an April update. Jim found a similar questionnaire from Kaiser Permanente geared for 13-18 year olds as well.

There are 23 questions in all on the Health Partners questionnaire. There is also an asterisk related point that was of concern as well. Michele quoted it this way:

“If you have had thoughts that you would be better off dead or of hurting yourself in some way, please discuss this with your clinician, go to a hospital emergency room, or call 9-11.”

Notice how this point says nothing about speaking with parents.

Two of the questions of concern read this way:

“Do you get along with your family?”
“Are you or do you ever wonder if you are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex or asexual?”

Obviously some children won’t even know what some of these words mean. Michele noted that whether they know or not, do you want a child having that conversation with a doctor? Where’s the vetting process that allows parents to know that the doctor shares their values and beliefs. After all, these are moral matters and not just medical ones.

There’s much more to explore on this issue, and you can become informed when you review this edition of Crosstalk.

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