On Friday, a video was posted to Twitter in which a Navy Nurse Practitioner addressed Navy personnel in Bahrain about medical policy regarding their children when a concerned father spoke up.
The Navy spokesperson explained the Navy medical policy regarding children and said, "This generation is definitely more open with experiencing and experimenting and so I ask those tough questions. Do you identify as a male, female, non-binary? If you have a crush on someone is it a male or a female? Do you have a significant other and yes, I'm asking them if they are having sex."
The medical spokesperson continued, "It is Navy DHA (Deployment Health Assessment), at 12-years-old, parents cannot look at their children’s medical records online. At 15 or 16 years old, there are 4 things [for which] a child can come into a clinic by scheduling their own appointment and we don't have to tell their parents. Mental health, birth control, pregnancy tests, and sexually transmitted infections."
A father in the audience asked, "When did this policy of preventing parents from being able to access their minor children's medical records start?"
The spokesperson claimed not to know the exact date the policy went into effect and continued, "When they come in for any of these concerns and their parents don’t know, I encourage them to talk to their parents. I build that rapport with them and encourage them to talk to their parents because then think about it, if they have that trust in that provider, and then you're coming in and getting their medical records, you're breaking that trust - you're not building that trust."
The parent questioned, "So the only issue I have with that is that they are a minor child; they are not of consenting age, correct? So I don't understand how, because I have a 17 year old and an almost 12 year old and I have never been notified of this policy until I just heard about it the other day and personally I think it's absolutely abhorrent that medical professionals will keep that kind of information from parents especially if there's some kind of pregnancy or STI and especially when it comes to gender."
The concerned father continued, "There’s so many things that are poisoning our kids' minds on social media when it comes to gender ideology and then medical professionals are now no longer required to disclose that information to parents? I think it is absolutely abhorrent and disgusting. As a parent, if someone kept that kind of information from me - and I don't know if you can tell but I am shaking right now because I am furious - that you would sit there and think that it's okay to hide that kind of information from the parent of a minor child if I ever find out that my child is going through these issues and I wasn't notified, I will go after every single person with a medical license that had anything to do with my child. Because I will do anything to keep my children safe. I think [this policy] is absolutely disgusting."
The Navy Nurse Practitioner responded, "Thank you for your opinion. Just like you are an advocate for your child, I am an advocate for your child and so when they come in and they disclose that information to me, sometimes I'm the first person that they have told and that’s happened here in Bahrain and so we have that discussion and they’re opening up to tell me that information. But there are parents that don’t want to hear it and are very close-minded and that’s why they keep those secrets. And that’s why we have teenage suicides."
The father asked, "So youre saying that the minor child, someone who can't consent to anything, who's not a legal adult, you’re saying the medical ‘professional’ has more rights than the parents of that child? That’s the Navy’s policy?"
"That's the policy, I didn’t make it," the Navy spokesperson responded.
The father, in a final attempt to clarify his parental rights over his children stated, "I'm not accusing you, ma'am. I'm simply calling out the Navy - that the policy, gives more rights, circumvents a parent’s right to know is what you're saying. That's the Navy’s official policy?”
The Navy medical spokesperson responded simply, "Yes."
Since the exchange was posted on Twitter, many have voiced their discontent with the Navy's official policy regarding parental rights of their children.
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