School Nurse Sues Over Being Fired For Taking Student for Pregnancy Test And Abortifa - page 9

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   sbic56
    I agree with Fergus that there can be no abortion without a known pregnacy, but Missyb's post got me wondering just what the state by state laws were. It does vary quite a bit. Interesting that in Maine and Wisconsin, receiving permission from any adult family member may be acceptable. I see some states don't require permission be obtained at all.
    http://womensissues.about.com/cs/abo...enabortion.htm
  2. by   nurse_wannabe
    Quote from Angie O'Plasty, RN
    PS In this case, the "child" is also considered an "adult" under the law.
    #1: Supreme Court law does not state that a pregnant minor is legally considered an adult. As long as said minor is living at home and being supported by her parents, she is considered a child until she reaches the age of 18 OR until she moves out of her parents home, regardless of whether she has gotten herself pregnant or not. She only has the right to make adult decisions regarding the upbringing of her own child.

    #2: Maine law states that a minor child must have permission of a close adult relative over the age of 21 to receive an abortion.

    #3: Even if there WAS a law stating that a pregnant child is legally considered an adult, that would have no bearing here. That school nurse didn't know if she was pregnant or not, and as a matter of fact, we STILL don't know if she was in fact pregnant.

    IMO, that nurse stepped way over the line. The school board was right to fire her, and she should have her license revoked.

    This whole thread has perplexed me and left me with many unanswered questions. Was she pregnant or not? Normally pregnancy isn't even suspected until at least 4 wks. gestation, so it doesn't make sense that they would give her a morning-after pill. Why didn't someone in the school office question the nurse when she was signing the girls out? :uhoh21:
  3. by   sbic56
    nurse_wannabe

    I can see why you have questions, as there is some obvious descrepancy in the way this case has been reported by the media.

    If you read both articles about this story, you'll find that lifesite.net, which is a prolife website, calls the tx the girl rec'd the an abortificant, which to me would be RU486, which definitely requires parental approval.

    Conversely, in the local Maine newspaper version, which I posted earlier and have repeated below, it states she rec'd the morning after pill, which is quite different, as it is not an abortificant. The morning after pill prevents pregnancy from sexual intercourse that has occurrred within up to the last 72 hours, definitely birth control. I doubt very much the clinic would have given the minor an abortificant, as they know that requires parental consent. Remember, in cases of birth control, even if living at home, rules of notification of the parent don't apply.

    http://pressherald.mainetoday.com/n...hoolnurse.shtml

    A pregancy test would be given irregardless of the treatment being used. Could be she is 2 or 3 months pregnant and not a candidate for the morning after pill at all.

    Hope this offers more info on this. Still, the judgment thing is what many have issue with here. I see it as more of a cultural thing which many find unacceptable, but has been in practice in that area. People in small rural towns operate differently than they do elsewhere. What the nurse did was probably not a first, but because birth control was involved, I'll bet the super is trying to save face in the community. There was no school policy in place, so the nurse will probably win on that point. Also, I think it is important to note that the BON has not found reason to become involved in this.
  4. by   MaleRN2B
    Quote from LPN/TXnurse
    Somehow that child's parents should have been aware of what was going on.
    Exactly. Where were this "child's" parents while she was having sex?
  5. by   Spidey's mom
    Quote from sbic56
    nurse_wannabe

    I can see why you have questions, as there is some obvious descrepancy in the way this case has been reported by the media.

    If you read both articles about this story, you'll find that lifesite.net, which is a prolife website, calls the tx the girl rec'd the an abortificant, which to me would be RU486, which definitely requires parental approval.

    Conversely, in the local Maine newspaper version, which I posted earlier and have repeated below, it states she rec'd the morning after pill, which is quite different, as it is not an abortificant. The morning after pill prevents pregnancy from sexual intercourse that has occurrred within up to the last 72 hours, definitely birth control. I doubt very much the clinic would have given the minor an abortificant, as they know that requires parental consent. Remember, in cases of birth control, even if living at home, rules of notification of the parent don't apply.

    http://pressherald.mainetoday.com/n...hoolnurse.shtml

    A pregancy test would be given irregardless of the treatment being used. Could be she is 2 or 3 months pregnant and not a candidate for the morning after pill at all.

    Hope this offers more info on this. Still, the judgment thing is what many have issue with here. I see it as more of a cultural thing which many find unacceptable, but has been in practice in that area. People in small rural towns operate differently than they do elsewhere. What the nurse did was probably not a first, but because birth control was involved, I'll bet the super is trying to save face in the community. There was no school policy in place, so the nurse will probably win on that point. Also, I think it is important to note that the BON has not found reason to become involved in this.

    Remember, I'm from a small rural town and parents would be screaming mad if their child was taken off campus by a nurse like this.

    (granted all small towns are not alike) . . .. .

    steph
  6. by   Spidey's mom
    Of course since I don't think this is about abortion but about a nurse overstepping her bounds and her licence, this post is off-topic.

    But just to clear up the way the "morning after pill" works, I got two definitions. One from a pro-life site and one from a pro-choice site.

    Both say the same thing about how it works.

    "The PCP is believed to work principally by preventing your ovaries from releasing an egg, and by affecting the womb lining, so that a fertilised egg couldn't 'embed' itself there"


    The emergency contraceptive/morning-after pill has three possible ways in which it can work (as does the regular birth control pill):

    "Ovulation is inhibited, meaning the egg will not be released;
    The normal menstrual cycle is altered, delaying ovulation; or
    It can irritate the lining of the uterus so that if the first and second actions fail, and the woman does become pregnant, the human being created will die before he or she can actually attach to the lining of the uterus."

    http://www.morningafterpill.org/mapinfo1.htm

    http://www.netdoctor.co.uk/sex_relat...gafterpill.htm


    So, the belief by some people that you are interfering with the implantation of an embyro, which in their minds is fully genetically human, is a valid concern.

    Of course if you don't believe that, it isn't a concern.

    But the morning after pill CAN interfere with the implantation of an embryo.

    Just to clear things up . . .not to be controversial.

    steph
  7. by   caroladybelle
    Quote from stevielynn
    or
    It can irritate the lining of the uterus so that if the first and second actions fail, and the woman does become pregnant, the human being created will die before he or she can actually attach to the lining of the uterus."

    So, the belief by some people that you are interfering with the implantation of an embyro, which in their minds is fully genetically human, is a valid concern.

    But the morning after pill CAN interfere with the implantation of an embryo.
    By the same token many many more eggs get fertilized, than actually implant. And many common everyday acts interfere with implantation. Are we going to make every single sexually active woman lie still for so long after every sexual act, so that she doesn't do anything to impair implantation in an effort to prevent an "abortion"?

    Because of the fact that so many fertilizations occur that do not implant, many consider implantation/viability to be a valid issue. Otherwise, you have to consider that millions of natural "abortions" are occurring routinely.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    As a matter of note, I do think that the nurse has greatly overstepped her bounds and had no business doing what she did.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Where is the male that was involved in this? Is he a legal adult? Did he commit a crime? Why are we not discuccing his responsibility?
  8. by   SharonH, RN
    Quote from stevielynn


    So, the belief by some people that you are interfering with the implantation of an embyro, which in their minds is fully genetically human, is a valid concern.

    Of course if you don't believe that, it isn't a concern.

    But the morning after pill CAN interfere with the implantation of an embryo.

    Just to clear things up . . .not to be controversial.

    steph

    Actually, even that has not been proven. The only thing that is for sure is that the knowledge of how emergency contraception works is incomplete. But increasingly clinical studies are showing that they work by inhibiting ovulation by a variety of mechanisms, NOT preventing implantation.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/q...tool=iconabstr

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/q...tool=iconabstr

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/q...tool=iconabstr


    Just to muddy things up a bit.
  9. by   sbic56
    Quote from stevielynn
    Of course since I don't think this is about abortion but about a nurse overstepping her bounds and her licence, this post is off-topic.

    But just to clear up the way the "morning after pill" works, I got two definitions. One from a pro-life site and one from a pro-choice site.

    Both say the same thing about how it works.

    "The PCP is believed to work principally by preventing your ovaries from releasing an egg, and by affecting the womb lining, so that a fertilised egg couldn't 'embed' itself there"


    The emergency contraceptive/morning-after pill has three possible ways in which it can work (as does the regular birth control pill):

    "Ovulation is inhibited, meaning the egg will not be released;
    The normal menstrual cycle is altered, delaying ovulation; or
    It can irritate the lining of the uterus so that if the first and second actions fail, and the woman does become pregnant, the human being created will die before he or she can actually attach to the lining of the uterus."

    http://www.morningafterpill.org/mapinfo1.htm

    http://www.netdoctor.co.uk/sex_relat...gafterpill.htm


    So, the belief by some people that you are interfering with the implantation of an embyro, which in their minds is fully genetically human, is a valid concern.

    Of course if you don't believe that, it isn't a concern.

    But the morning after pill CAN interfere with the implantation of an embryo.

    Just to clear things up . . .not to be controversial.

    steph
    I don't think you are going off topic, as I do see this as a debate about prolife issues and who gets to decide what happens to their bodies and when. Regarding the morning after pill, it is true a few cells may be disallowed to implant and that some may pull in the "when does life begin" issue here. Also want to add I agree with caroladybelles response.

    I was clarifying the difference between the RU486 and morning after pill because of the safety issue that many voiced concern about regarding this girl. There were no safety issues; she wasn't in danger of hemorrahage from an abortificant. Making the morning after pill available OTC has been considered; it's a safe method of B.C.

    I am referring to some not all small towns. I live in Maine in a town where I doubt nurse would not have done what this one did either. Permission to leave campus is an enforced policy here. Upstate Maine is somewhere quite unique. Fort Kent is about a stones throw from Canada in an area that is of the least populated in the country. Population there is about 5000 and they are the biggest town until you reach Presque Isle (pop. 9000) 60 miles to the south. It is truly isolated as most have never seen before. It's so desolate, it's almost scarey up there. That part of Maine is beyond rural!
  10. by   markjrn
    Quote from sbic56
    Fort Kent is about a stones throw from Canada in an area that is of the least populated in the country. Population there is about 5000 and they are the biggest town until you reach Presque Isle (pop. 9000) 60 miles to the south. It is truly isolated as most have never seen before. It's so desolate, it's almost scarey up there. That part of Maine is beyond rural!
    Very true. They're quite conservative as well.
  11. by   peds4now
    next...
    Last edit by peds4now on May 15, '05
  12. by   peds4now
    In my opinion the nurse should be fired for taking a student off campus without parental permission, regardless of the other issues. But I also think she overstepped the line as a nurse. A minor is cognitively immature, and is therefore specially protected by the law. By taking the girl out of school and transporting her to the clinic, the school nurse was inappropriately influencing her to make a particular medical decision. If there was any question that the girl was being abused, neglected, or denied appropriate medical care by her parents, child protective services should have been brought in. One could even argue that if a child is poorly supervised to the point that she gets pregnant, she is being neglected, and court mandated family therapy, parenting classes, and follow-up by a social worker are in order.

    I may think the nurse deserves to lose her job, but that doesn't mean I have a particular outlook on the girl and her ending her pregnancy. I think the nurse could have given the girl information and left her to it. It would be the clinic's responsibility to decide whether parental consent was needed. The whole situation could have been handled much more confidentially that way.
  13. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    I think the nurse could have given the girl information and left her to it. It would be the clinic's responsibility to decide whether parental consent was needed.
    I completely agree.

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