Parliament discusses Whip’s private member’s bill on under-age medical consultation
Parliament yesterday discussed at the second reading a private member’s bill presented by government Whip Godfrey Farrugia. The bill proposes an amendment in the health law to allow 16and 17-year-olds to consult a healthcare professional without the need of their parents’ or guardians’ consent.
The aim of the bill is to help young people fight preventable lifestyle diseases. Dr Farrugia mentioned, among others, issues related to sexual health and addiction.
He said the current practice is prudent, but there are circumstances when a young person can, and needs to take responsible decisions.
“In the past and maybe even today, the healthcare among youths has not been given the right importance,” Dr Farrugia explained.
“Beyond this law, we need to promote healthier lifestyles, a life without drugs and alcohol, less stress and mental disorders,” he added. Dr Farrugia insisted that this bill will open the doors wide open for a new healthcare for youth policy. “I am proud that this government has the youths close to heart,” he concluded.
Nationalist MP Michael Gonzi said that it should be made clear whether this bill is being proposed to protect the youths or the doctors. He said that the law fails to specify how a doctor should conclude that the person in front of you is mature or not.
“How can I decide if the underage person is mature enough in a 10-minute consultation?”
The Opposition signified its approval of the bill.