Par­lia­ment dis­cusses Whip’s pri­vate mem­ber’s bill on un­der-age med­i­cal con­sul­ta­tion

Malta Independent - - NEWS -

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.

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