Quick, kids, wake up and exercise your “responsible agency”.
Victoria’s Doctors in Secondary Schools (DiSS) program is undermining the rights and responsibilities of parents to care for their children’s health.
The ALP Government of Daniel Andrews is in the process of implementing the DiSS program, which by the end of term 1, 2018, will involve 100 Victorian secondary colleges. These schools fall predominantly into disadvantaged and struggling regional areas.
The Government plans to spend $43.8 million on the program, of which $18 million is being spent on the construction of examination rooms at schools and $25.8 million on staffing. This initial outlay was announced in the 2016 state budget. The DiSS program places an unnecessary burden on the taxpayer.
The program also raises serious questions about parents’ rights to supervise the health care of their children. According to the “Parent and Carer Fact Sheet” put out by the Department of Education and Training (DET), the student can be considered a “mature minor” and seek medical help without parental involvement. It explains that mature minors are young people under the age of 18 “who are deemed capable of seeking and obtaining health care for their particular issue”.
This means that a child as young as 12 can seek medical assessment and treatment without parental knowledge or involvement.
At the age of 15, a child can apply for her own Medicare card. This requires only supporting documents such as a student card or a birth certificate. The doctors in the DiSS program are authorised to manage the “physical health, mental health, and sexual and reproductive health issues” of students.
The DET “Fact Sheet” is confused on the issue of the school requiring parental consent before a student can access medical care at school. So, can students access treatment and medication without parental consent? If the answer is yes, then the program violates the right of parents to be the gatekeepers for their children’s health care.
If the answer is yes, the DiSS program enables students at school to seek treatment for sexually transmitted infections (STIs), get a prescription for contraceptives, or medication to terminate a pregnancy with chemical abortifacient the Morning-After Pill (MAP), and other medical treatments where parental involvement as the primary custodians of children is overridden.
If it should happen that the doctor treating a student is not aware of the family medical history relating to a student, this is covered as the guidelines state that a child can “consent to the transfer of their medical records”. Not only can a student have medical records redirected, but referrals to outside medical specialists are considered integral to the program. In this process parents are easily blocked out of their children’s medical treatment.
Of the 100 participating schools, 67 are also signatories to the misnamed Safe Schools Coalition Victoria program. The Safe Schools Coalition program is based on queer gender theory, which denies the binary nature of male and female and melts them into hundreds of meaningless gender options; see the Gender Master List on Tumblr for details.
The Safe Schools Coalition program has two core doctrines: that gender is fluid (meaning any adult or child can choose a gender other than their biological sex); and that the child is a sexual agent capable of making his or her own sexual decisions without parental involvement. These include children choosing medical transitioning drugs and surgery to appear as a member of the opposite sex.
It is no coincidence that the DiSS program also treats the child as an agent capable of making health-care decisions.
Both the Safe Schools Coalition program and the DiSS program undermine the rights of parents. The program is being implemented as though the Government, the education system and the health system need to take on the rights and responsibilities of parents when in fact most families are not dysfunctional but are intact biological family units comprising mother and father with their children.
The DiSS supporting documents further sideline parents by using the term “carer” and consistently refer to the parents in the singular as “parent”. This does not reflect the reality that 74 per cent of Australian children under 18 live with both their biological parents in a traditional family setting.
Perhaps it is time to pause and consider the role of schools in loco parentis (“in the place of a parent”) and refer to the legal responsibility of a person or organisation taking on functions and responsibilities afforded to custodial parents. It most certainly does not mean replacing or sidelining parents.
The socialist petticoat of the Andrews Government is showing again with the DiSS program. The state, in the form of the Victorian Government, is usurping the rights of parents to decide what is in the best interests of their children in regard to their health and education.
All this at a time when Victoria’s educational standards are falling!
by Gabrielle Walsh
News Weekly, May 6, 2017Share