On March 22nd, The Daily Advance published the following op-ed by Laura Macklem, NC Values Press Director, entitled “NC law impedes medical rights of parents”:

I remember sitting in the doctor’s office in total shock with my 12-year-old daughter when I was told my child, who was holding her American Girl Doll, had to give me consent to view her medical records as we considered removal of her kidney. She looked uncomfortable and hugged her doll a little tighter and shot me a look of confusion.

Little did we know that North Carolina law allows minors at any age to consent to physician-provided care for mental health issues and life-altering conditions connected to social behaviors. Because of this law, federal privacy laws prevent parents from seeing their children’s medical records without their consent.

The law gives minors the right to consent to physician-provided care for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of pregnancy, STDs, AIDS, drugs, alcohol abuse and undefined “emotional disturbance.” Even though I wanted to see my daughter’s records unrelated to this law, along with federal privacy laws, the hospital’s inability to separate these treatments from others barred me without her consent.

Other parents around the state are reporting to NC Values Coalition about this breathtaking violation of parental rights that means a doctor and their child, at any age, can make decisions together without the parents if the child tests positive for pregnancy, drugs, AIDS, STDs, alcohol abuse and “emotional disturbance.”

According to news reports, LaShanda Morrison from Charlotte was notified by the school nurse her child might have consumed a gummy laced with drugs. Morrison took her daughter to the hospital for a drug test, and the child refused. The hospital cited (NCGS 90-21.5(a)) as a reason to deny Morrison’s request. Considering the epidemic of fentanyl laced gummies injuring children, it’s clear the law put Morrison’s child in danger.

In another instance, parent Maria Oxford was caring for her son suffering from leukemia and wanted access to the medical records before the child had a bone marrow transplant. Oxford, who is also an experienced oncology nurse, was denied access because he was over 13 years old and state law protects privacy of teenagers over parental rights to see their child’s medical records.

North Carolina law has set a tone for separating parents from their children in medical situations. In my own experience, many times, the pediatrician’s receptionist has waited until I looked to the side and abruptly shoved an explicit survey toward my daughter which asked about gender confusion, preferred pronouns and sexual practices. When I go back to the exam room, I’m told to sit outside while they examine my child alone.

A friend agreed to sit outside the room of her son’s appointment but first made it clear she didn’t want him to have the Gardasil vaccine. He came out of the exam room with a bandage on his arm. When the mom asked about the bandage, the nurse her son was legally allowed to override his mother’s objection and take the vaccine. There are 92 cases in federal court in North Carolina where parents are suing the manufacturer of the Gardasil vaccine, Merck, yet minors are still permitted to override parent objection.

Keeping parents in the dark about their children’s risky social behaviors prevents parents from having the information they need to protect their children. Banning parents from seeing their children’s medical records switches the authority from parent to doctor. There is a parental rights power grab by medical activists who are using the law as their weapon. It’s time for the General Assembly to change this law and restore medical parental rights.

Laura Macklem is the press and political director for NC Values.