School Nurse Sues Over Being Fired For Taking Student for Pregnancy Test And Abortifa - page 11

BANGOR, Maine, May 4, 2005 (LifeSiteNews.com) - School Administrative District 27, Portland Maine, is fighting a lawsuit brought by a former school nurse. Lola Charette was fired for taking one of... Read More

  1. by   Spidey's mom
    Quote from fergus51
    :chuckle Not offensive at all Steph. I'm closer in age to a teenager than many parents, so I probably identify with them more. I can remember the frustration of being practically an adult but having people think I couldn't make decisions for myself. I would prefer a teenager get the health care they need rather than avoid it just to keep their secrets from their parents. And I admit, I did leave school a few times without parental permission Despite that, I turned out ok. (Don't tell my mom anybody)
    Whew, good, glad you took my comment in the manner it was intended.

    I guess for me this case is still simply about a nurse taking a student off campus during school in a school vehicle without parental notification and the reason doesn't matter.

    steph
  2. by   UM Review RN
    My take on this is that the nurse did something extraordinary, something she hadn't done in 20 years of being a school nurse by taking this girl to the clinic, because the girl had some extraordinary circumstance that if left to her own devices, would either betray the confidence or prevent her from getting to the clinic.

    In a situation like this, there simply isn't a lot of time to think things through. I feel like I've heard 'em all with teenagers sometimes, but a couple of the examples that went through my head were:
    • sexual abuse by a parent or a close relative
    • a claim of date-rape in which the victim did not want to go to the police
    I've been closely involved with both types (though not as a nurse, but as a confidante) and sadly, it's really more common than you think. Also, that would account for the really scanty details reported about this case.
    Last edit by UM Review RN on May 17, '05
  3. by   Pride of July28
    It seems like if there is no written policy- then it doesn't exist. Poo poo to the "unwritten" rule. If we are on the floor and didn't document what we did with a patient- would an "unwriiten" expectation or reliance that we did patient care suffice-- ahh no! Pts and there families sue everyday as a result.

    Would I take a kid off campus- not during class I wouldn't. Would I meet her at 3:15 or afterschool somewhere to take her. .. .maybe. depends on a lot of things but like you said - cutting classes, taking from campus to anywhere isn't something I would do b/c my school did have it in writing so I know these things and you'd get reamed. I am also from a major metro area where folks didn't just do that many nice things like give young people rides :chuckle

    on a slight sidebar- to all of those that think they are entitled to all this information about their adolescents reproductive health care-- I implore you to visit
    www.guttmacher.org

    and check out your state policies in brief. Some are correct, but. .. .many others would be surprised
  4. by   CCU NRS
    Quote from Pride of July28
    It seems like if there is no written policy- then it doesn't exist. Poo poo to the "unwritten" rule. If we are on the floor and didn't document what we did with a patient- would an "unwriiten" expectation or reliance that we did patient care suffice-- ahh no! Pts and there families sue everyday as a result.

    Would I take a kid off campus- not during class I wouldn't. Would I meet her at 3:15 or afterschool somewhere to take her. .. .maybe. depends on a lot of things but like you said - cutting classes, taking from campus to anywhere isn't something I would do b/c my school did have it in writing so I know these things and you'd get reamed. I am also from a major metro area where folks didn't just do that many nice things like give young people rides :chuckle

    on a slight sidebar- to all of those that think they are entitled to all this information about their adolescents reproductive health care-- I implore you to visit
    www.guttmacher.org

    and check out your state policies in brief. Some are correct, but. .. .many others would be surprised

    You are right about the age of consent issue but that being said, It should be every parent's goal to be involved enough in their child's life to want to be the first line of contact in a situation such as this, unfortunately that is not always the case, I as a parent of 2 teen girls have had many a serious conversation about sex and sexual rights and wrongs and that the bottom line is that we can not control what you do but we love you and want the best for you and in any situation you can talk to us(of course us begins with Mom and then working Dad into it) but hey we have worked hard and it has paid off and the fact that my children could consent to medical treatment in a sexual situaton in NO way means that they are wise enough to do so and to further be ushered in a hurried manner is not explained, I would want my daughters to have to have some time to consider every outcome, a school nurse intervening and taking a child to a clinic within hours of being consulted on the issue was rushing to give a minor with less than capable critical thinking skills the ability to make a spontaneous decision and then gave her the means to act upon that decision. If the child had to take time to consider options she may have sought the guidance of a Parent.

    So this also cuts deep to the heart of the issue, if she was already getting close to the end of time for an abortificiant(sp) drug or if it were a morning after pill would also weigh greatly in the overall picture. But bottom line this should not have been an issue settled by a school nurse no matter what.
    Last edit by CCU NRS on May 17, '05
  5. by   mattsmom81
    I understand the feelings of all the parents on this board. I'm a parent too.

    BUT if the LAW states your teenage girl has the right to make these decisions without your input and guidance, and has the right to confidentiality, then put yourself in that nurses' shoes for a minute; keeping in mind we don't have the 'full picture' of what went on that day in the nurses' office.

    Do we really want to go back to coat hangers and knitting needles in the closet?

    Nurses walk a fine line when they disdain law over their own moral convictions, IMHO.
    Should she not have helped this girl find counseling, and make her own informed decision in this matter, would she have met her duty to her patient?


    It isn't a stretch for me to understand the nurses' dilemna here... and I have no doubt the nurse felt conflicted by the law, professional duty and 'unwritten' rules of the facility. She had to make a choice right there...at that moment. I wasn't there, don't know the details, so I won't judge her.

    So often being a good nurse conflicts with being a good employee doesn't it. I hope she wins her case.

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