Cervical vaccine letter upsets mum

The Dominion Post 17/10/2009

A letter sent to a 13-year-old girl offering her a free cervical cancer vaccine has outraged her mother, who accuses health authorities of going behind parents’ backs. Rangiora mother Nancye Price said the letter from her family’s medical practice was addressed to her daughter, Hannah, who has just turned 13. “She just twisted her face up and handed me the letter saying, ‘I don’t know what they want.”‘ Mrs Price said the unsigned letter included no information about the Gardasil vaccine, except the fact it was free. “It was like they were inviting kids in for a lollipop,” she said. “My concern is they have bypassed parental consent. They don’t know anything about our family or our children or our lifestyle.”

…Mrs Price said she did not hold the clinic responsible, as she assumed it was were acting on a national directive. “It’s a decision with life-long implications and I don’t believe a child should have to make a decision like that without the support of her parents.” Family First national director Bob McCoskrie said parents were “right to be offended and completely outraged”. “It is incredible that a parent has to sign a letter for their child to go on a trip to the zoo or to be excused from wearing their PE gear at school, but can be completely ignored when their daughter is accessing a vaccine, contraception, or even an abortion … “Some teenagers may simply not have the maturity or knowledge to make these important health decisions.”