Monday, October 08, 2007

Big Brother Pediatrics Exam?

Via the Texas Hold ‘Em Blogger, a story that, if accurate, should set off alarm bells among all parents.
They’re watching you right now.

They counted every beer you drank during last night’s Red Sox gams.

They see you sneaking out to the garage for a smoke.

They know if you’ve got a gun, and where you keep it.

They’re your kids, and they’re the National Security Agency of the Nanny State.

I found this out after my 13-year-old daughter’s annual checkup. Her pediatrician grilled her about alcohol and drug abuse.

Not my daughter’s boozing. Mine.

“The doctor wanted to know how much you and mom drink, and if I think it’s too much,” my daughter told us afterward, rolling her eyes in that exasperated 13-year-old way. “She asked if you two did drugs, or if there are drugs in the house.”

“What!” I yelped. “Who told her about my stasher, I mean, ‘It’s an outrage!’ ”

I turned to my wife. “You took her to the doctor. Why didn’t you say something?”

She couldn’t, she told me, because she knew nothing about it. All these questions were asked in private, without my wife’s knowledge or consent.

“The doctor wanted to know how we get along,” my daughter continued. Then she paused. “And if, well, Daddy, if you made me feel uncomfortable.”

Great. I send my daughter to the pediatrician to find out if she’s fit to play lacrosse, and the doctor spends her time trying to find out if her mom and I are drunk, drug-addicted sex criminals.

We’re not alone, either. Thanks to guidelines issued by the American Academy of Pediatrics and supported by the commonwealth, doctors across Massachusetts are interrogating our kids about mom and dad’s “bad” behavior.

We used to be proud parents. Now, thanks to the AAP, we’re “persons of interest.”

The paranoia over parents is so strong that the AAP encourages doctors to ignore “legal barriers and deference to parental involvement” and shake the children down for all the inside information they can get.

And that information doesn’t stay with the doctor, either.

Debbie is a mom from Uxbridge who was in the examination room when the pediatrician asked her 5-year-old, “Does Daddy own a gun?”

When the little girl said yes, the doctor began grilling her and her mom about the number and type of guns, how they are stored, etc.

If the incident had ended there, it would have merely been annoying.

But when a friend in law enforcement let Debbie know that her doctor had filed a report with the police about her family’s (entirely legal) gun ownership, she got mad.

She also got a new doctor.

In fact, the problem of anti-gun advocacy in the examining room has become so widespread that some states are considering legislation to stop it.
We, of course, tried to check this out by calling the Massachusetts Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, and we talked to Cathleen Haggerty, the Executive Director. She admitted that pediatricians did mental health screening, and indeed invoked “national guidelines” and a legal case called “Rosie D.” as requiring “mental health screening.”

She had no comment for the record as to whether those particular questions were part of the process, and promised that the organization would, in a day or two, come out with a statement on the issue.

We’ll report that when it happens.

We can’t help but note a comment from another blogger on this issue:
Isn’t this the sort of thing that liberals claim they are against? Isn’t this a lot worse than asking librarians about who has been checking out books about explosives? I thought liberals got excited when the state sticks its nose into the bedroom. But if it turns out that Mom and Dad have their gun safe there, apparently liberals are okay with it.

I am not holding my breath waiting for the ACLU to take up the cause of family privacy. Teachers and school administrators in government schools have been known to try to turn their charges into informants, too. The left’s big boys are cool with it.
Indeed, because it’s “for the children.” But terrorists kill children too. And indeed, they own guns.

But they don’t vote Republican, which may explain the different attitudes.

[Update]

An e-mail correspondent sends us the following:
From Pediatrics: Official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, a link to the page where I found the article “Alcohol Use and Abuse: A Pediatric Concern” Published at Pediatrics, 1995; 95; 439-442. Go to page 441 and look at the paragraph numbered “4.” It states “Prenatal visits and preventive child health care provide an opportunity to inquire about a family history of alcoholism and parental attitudes about alcohol use.” We do not need a Nanny State.

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2 Comments:

Blogger Dad29 said...

I can tell you as a matter of fact that when a hospital emergency room admits a kid with bruises or broken limbs that the hospital staff DOES ask, directly and indirectly, whether Mommy or Daddy knocked the kid around.

They ask the kid, of course.

That IS true. I have PLENTY of knowledge of that.

As to the gun stuff--heh.

Our GP owns guns, and he was the proximate cause of my purchase of guns.

Dunno about the pediatrician, though. Maybe I'll ask him about that issue.

8:31 PM  
Blogger James Pawlak said...

Check with an attorney. I am not sure if medical staff have any right to interview a minor out of the presence of a parent or guardian.

Also, considering the number of psychiatrists, public school teachers and psychologists who become involved in sexual abuse of children, I wonder if allowing any of them to have such private interviews.

12:09 PM  

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