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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Drugs could be denied to minors with no permission

    PHOENIX – The decision to start taking birth control pills, get treatment for a sexually transmitted disease or take antidepressants may be taken out of the hands of some UA students under a bill being considered by the Arizona House of Representatives.

    For underage UA students, the decision to take any kind of prescribed medication would require a note from home.

    Under HB 2707, doctors would not be allowed to prescribe pills to minors without either written or oral permission from a parent.

    Yasmin Avash, a regional development junior, was 17 when she started school at the UA and said that if someone’s in college and 17 years old, he or she should be able to get prescription drugs without parental consent.

    “”If a 17-year-old can live on their own, they should be considered adults and be able to decide for themselves,”” Avash said.

    Although Avash feels that college students shouldn’t be stifled through the law, she understands why the bill would benefit minors who are not in college.

    “”When you’re in college, you’re surrounded by an older age group, and so you act older. In high school, it’s a different story,”” Avash said.

    The bill’s sponsor, House Majority Leader Steve Tully, said parents should be involved in all medical decisions for their underage children.

    Tully, a lawyer, said he was in a better position to make a decision for his four daughters than a doctor who has limited interaction with his patients.

    Melissa May, molecular and cellular biology junior, was also 17 when she came to the UA. She said prescriptions like birth control should be made more readily available, not less.

    “”Birth control should be made available to girls under 18, especially if they are in college,”” May said. “”If you’re away from home and living on your own, you have to be able to make your own health decisions.””

    The bill was approved last week by the Republican-dominated House Health Committee, 6-3, in a strict party-line vote.

    The legislation would exempt certain agencies that receive federal Title X family-planning money, which precludes the barring of treatment because of age.

    Parental notification already exists under Arizona law for other procedures, including genetic tests of minors, testing for sickle cell anemia, abortions, surgery, tattoos and piercings (not including ear piercings). There are certain exceptions to the law, such as surgery necessary to save the life of a minor if the parent cannot be located.

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