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S1329 - Parental Rights to Medical Information

NO, this Bill is NOT good for Idaho's children

This legislation does not protect vulnerable minors. The bill's broad language could worsen the current mental health crisis in youth by hindering minors' access to crucial mental health support and treatment, particularly for those in abusive or neglectful home environments where seeking parental consent may not be safe or feasible. It further marginalizes youth who seek help for their suffering.
The bill is a very REAL threat to mental health resources/suicide hotlines, including the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline.

• Criminalization of Essential Services: By criminalizing standard healthcare practices like
providing mental health counseling or STI testing to minors without explicit parental consent,
the bill could prevent healthcare providers from offering timely and necessary care,
exacerbating public health issues and potentially putting minors at risk.

• Conflicts with Existing Laws: In addition to hindering access to mental health support and
STI testing, the bill conflicts with existing Idaho laws that allow minors to consent to certain
medical treatments without parental notification, undermining efforts to protect minors'
health and well-being.

• Interference with Doctor-Patient Relationship: By imposing unnecessary barriers to
accessing essential healthcare services, the bill undermines the doctor-patient relationship and
erodes trust between healthcare providers and minors, potentially deterring individuals from
seeking help when they need it most.

• Impact on Vulnerable Populations: Individuals in abusive homes or facing other forms of
trauma may be disproportionately affected by the bill's restrictions on accessing mental health
support and STI testing, further exacerbating their already challenging circumstances and
potentially putting their health and safety at risk.

• Legal Ambiguity and Potential Litigation: SB 1329 introduces legal ambiguity and the
potential for litigation. The language surrounding parental rights and healthcare decision-
making lacks clarity and will likely lead to disputes between parents, healthcare providers, and
governmental entities. If a child’s parents do not agree on treatment, how does a physician
interpret consent? This ambiguity could result in costly legal battles that divert resources from
actual healthcare provision and exacerbate stakeholder tensions.

• Invalidation of physician training: Physicians are trained to provide ethically-sound
informed consent for procedures and medications that are evidence-based for the diagnosis
present. This bill invalidates this training, and is alienating for physicians, suggesting they
have no authority, value or competency in navigating consent and treatment for youth.

• Emergency Declaration Raises Concerns: The emergency declaration attached to the bill
raises concerns about the rush to pass legislation without adequate deliberation and
stakeholder input. Rushed legislation may overlook crucial nuances and unintended
consequences, potentially exacerbating the challenges faced by families, healthcare providers,
and minors seeking healthcare services.

• Failure to Address Root Causes: The bill fails to address the root causes of parental
concerns regarding minors' healthcare decisions. Instead of promoting trust and collaboration
between parents and healthcare providers, it imposes rigid requirements that may further
strain relationships and impede effective communication about minors' healthcare needs.

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