Assembly Bill 497 and Senate Bill 3134: Vaccines Administered Without Parental Consent

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Last Updated: March 7, 2014
Assembly Bill 497 and Senate Bill 3134: Vaccines Administered Without Parental Consent
House Senate
Sponsors:
Assemblyman Paulin with assemblymembers Schimel, Gottfried, Dinowitz, Jacobs, Jaffee, Rosenthal and Boyland, Brook-Krasny, Gabryszak, Markey, Russell, Titone, Wright.
Sponsors:
Senator Krueger and senators Adams, Parker, Peralta
Summary:

Assembly Bill 497 would amend the public health law in New York to permit all health care practitioners to provide certain services related to the prevention of sexually transmissible disease to children without the consent or knowledge of their parents or guardian. Under the bill, these health care practitioners could administer vaccines, such as the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, to any person under the age of 18 without the parents even knowing about it.

There is a companion bill in the Senate. Last year the Assembly Bill was reported out of the Assembly Health Committee. The bill was amended slightly at the third reading but failed to be brought to a vote. While it is currently back in the Health Committee it could be advanced to the floor for a vote at any time. We encourage you to contact your assemblyman and provide him or her with the message below.

Summary:

Senate Bill 3134 would amend the public health law in New York to permit all health care practitioners to provide certain services related to the prevention of sexually transmissible disease to children without the consent or knowledge of their parents or guardian. Under the bill, these health care practitioners could administer vaccines, such as the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, to any person under the age of 18 without the parents even knowing about it.

There is a companion bill in the Assembly that was voted out of Committee last year. However, the bill never made it to the floor for a final vote. Both bills are currently in the respective Health Committee and could be voted out at any time. We encourage you to contact your senator and your assemblyman and provide him or her with the message below.

Status:

01/09/2013     (Assembly)     Referred to Health Committee
04/30/2013     (Assembly)     Reported out of Committee
05/02/2013     (Assembly)     advanced to third reading cal.238
05/29/2013     (Assembly)     amended on third reading 497a
01/08/2014     (Assembly)     referred to health

Status:

01/30/2013     (Senate)     Referred to Health Committee
05/30/2013     (Senate)     AMEND AND RECOMMIT TO HEALTH
05/30/2013     (Senate)     PRINT NUMBER 3134A
01/08/2014     (Senate)     REFERRED TO HEALTH

HSLDA's Position:

HSLDA is opposed to Assembly Bill 497A because it allows health care practitioners to provide health care services, including certain immunizations, to children without the knowledge and consent of their parents.

HSLDA's Position:

HSLDA is opposed to Senate Bill 3134A because it allows health care practitioners to provide health care services, including certain immunizations, to children without the knowledge and consent of their parents.

Action Requested:

Please contact your assemblyman and give him or her this message in your own words:

"Please oppose Assembly Bill 497A. Sexually transmitted diseases and cervical cancer are very serious subjects. As a parent, I believe that this is something that I should be able to sit down and discuss with my child. Instead Assembly Bill 497A will put a health care practitioner in the place of the parent and allow them to administer vaccines to my child without even my knowledge. I believe the legislature is only encouraging children from not discussing very serious health care issues with their parents with this bill instead of fostering an environment where parents and children can face these issues together. Please vote against Assembly Bill 497."

You can find your assemblyman by using HSLDA's Legislative Toolbox or by going here . You do not need to identify yourself as a homeschooler. Instead you can identify yourself as a concerned parent and constituent.

Action Requested:

Please contact your state senator and give him or her this message in your own words:

"Please oppose Senate Bill 3134A. Sexually transmitted diseases and cervical cancer are very serious subjects. As a parent, I believe that this is something that I should be able to sit down and discuss with my child. Instead Senate Bill 3134A will put a health care practitioner in the place of the parent and allow them to administer vaccines to my child without even my knowledge. I believe the legislature is only encouraging children from not discussing very serious health care issues with their parents with this bill instead of fostering an environment where parents and children can face these issues together. Please vote again Senate Bill 3134."

You can find your state senator by using HSLDA's Legislative Toolbox or by going here . You do not need to identify yourself as a homeschooler. Instead you can identify yourself as a concerned parent and constituent.

Background:

New York law already allows a licensed physician or staff physician in a hospital to diagnose or treat—without the consent or knowledge of the parent or guardian—persons under the age of 21 who are infected with or who have been exposed to a sexually transmissible disease. Assembly Bill 497A, however, would allow all health care practitioners to diagnose a sexually transmitted disease.

Assembly Bill 497A would also allow any health care practitioner to provide health care services, such as vaccines, that are deemed to "prevent" sexually transmissible diseases. The HPV vaccine is currently recommended by the CDC for girls as young as 11 years old as well as boys 11-12. It is not used to treat sexually transmitted disease, instead, it is strongly urged to be administered before a young person becomes active. Many concerned parents see this as encouraging sexual behavior in younger and younger children.

Even more troubling is the fact that Assembly Bill 497A would allow a health care practitioner to encourage a preteen child to receive the HPV vaccine, or Hepatitis B, without their parents knowledge. Assembly Bill 497A states that the capacity to consent is to be permitted "without regard to the child's age." Thus, it is likely that a health care practitioner would assume capacity to consent as long as the child expressed a willingness to have the vaccine and "appeared" to understand what it was for. In the case of the HPV vaccine the health care practitioner would likely tell the child that it would improve their chances not to get (cervical) cancer. Given only that information every child would consent.

Similar bills have been introduced at least since 2008.

According to the memo attached to the bill "[t]he Legislature has recognized that it is critical to protecting the health of young people to allow them to seek treatment of sexually transmitted diseases without the consent of their parents or guardians because we know that teens often do not seek parental consent because a request for consent necessarily involves disclosing to parents that the teen has engaged in sexual activity." This memo goes on to state "Planned Parenthood and several community health centers testified at a Senate hearing several years ago that young women were coming into clinics and centers requesting the HPV vaccine. Yet even though teens may receive family planning counseling and birth control, terminate a pregnancy, and receive treatment for a sexually transmissible disease, in each case without the consent of a parent or guardian, those very teens cannot obtain the HPV vaccine without parental consent."

This bill is an outright attack on the rights of parents to determine what type of medical treatment their children should or should not receive, or are even ready for. We believe that the legislature should focus on encouraging open relationships between parents and children, not cutting the parent out of an important area in their child's life.

Background:

New York law already allows a licensed physician or staff physician in a hospital to diagnose or treat—without the consent or knowledge of the parent or guardian—persons under the age of 21 who are infected with or who have been exposed to a sexually transmissible disease. Senate Bill 3134A, however, would allow all health care practitioners to diagnose a sexually transmitted disease.

Senate Bill 3134A would also allow any health care practitioner to provide health care services, such as vaccines, that are deemed to "prevent" sexually transmissible diseases. The HPV vaccine is currently recommended by the CDC for girls as young as 11 years old as well as boys 11-12. It is not used to treat sexually transmitted disease, instead, it is strongly urged to be administered before a young person becomes active. Many concerned parents see this as encouraging sexual behavior in younger and younger children.

Even more troubling is the fact that Senate Bill 3134A would allow a health care practitioner to encourage a preteen child to receive the HPV vaccine, or Hepatitis B, without their parents knowledge. Assembly Bill 497 states that the capacity to consent is to be permitted "without regard to the child's age." Thus, it is likely that a health care practitioner would assume capacity to consent as long as the child expressed a willingness to have the vaccine and "appeared" to understand what it was for. In the case of the HPV vaccine the health care practitioner would likely tell the child that it would improve their chances not to get (cervical) cancer. Given only that information every child would consent.

Similar bills have been introduced at least since 2008.

According to the memo attached to Assembly Bill 497A "[t]he Legislature has recognized that it is critical to protecting the health of young people to allow them to seek treatment of sexually transmitted diseases without the consent of their parents or guardians because we know that teens often do not seek parental consent because a request for consent necessarily involves disclosing to parents that the teen has engaged in sexual activity." This memo goes on to state "Planned Parenthood and several community health centers testified at a Senate hearing several years ago that young women were coming into clinics and centers requesting the HPV vaccine. Yet even though teens may receive family planning counseling and birth control, terminate a pregnancy, and receive treatment for a sexually transmissible disease, in each case without the consent of a parent or guardian, those very teens cannot obtain the HPV vaccine without parental consent."

This bill is an outright attack on the rights of parents to determine what type of medical treatment their children should or should not receive, or are even ready for. We believe that the legislature should focus on encouraging open relationships between parents and children, not cutting the parent out of an important area in their child's life.

 Other Resources

House Bill Text

House Bill History

 Other Resources

Senate Bill Text

Senate Bill History