Do you think young girls should get the HPV vax without parental consent?

Katherine - posted on 10/13/2011 ( 80 moms have responded )

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They can get it at 12, yep. Without parental consent. The state of California's governor has signed a bill providing this. In California you can get an abortion, STD testing and birth control also without parental consent. I agree with all except the abortion (for health risks) and the HPV vax. 12 is too young IMO to be making these decisions.

Not to mention how controversial the vaccination is. I think it should be something you talk about with your daughter and weigh the risks and benefits.


What's your stance?



http://thestir.cafemom.com/teen/127196/h...

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Krista - posted on 10/13/2011

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Part of me wonders if it should be entirely up to the parents, though. What if you've got parents who are completely anti-vax and refuse to vaccinate their kids for anything, but the kids, once teenagers, do research and decide that yes, they do want to be protected against those diseases...then what?

Is it ethical for parents to refuse to vaccinate kids who absolutely WANT to be vaccinated?

Stifler's - posted on 10/18/2011

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They should be able to refuse or have it if they want. But seriously the parents should know what their child is having. What if they DO end up having a reaction and the parents have no idea why their kid is sick?

Tracey - posted on 10/14/2011

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All the girls at my daughter's school whose parents said no were made to see the nurse and explain their reasons. She gave them a long emotional lecture on how they could die without it. Half the girls changed their minds, had the jab and phoned their parents in tears. School refused to listen to complaints as it was not an educational matter. Health Service refused to listen to complaints due to patient confidentiality.

This is why I am against children agreeing to treatment unless it is an emergency. They are not mature enough to understand the implications. At that age they are not considered old enough to buy a goldfish so why should we assume they can make far more important decisions about their health?

I would also urge parents to check the medical consent forms used by their schools. Ours used to ask permission for first aid, emergency treatment and anasthetic. Now they state any medical treatment considered necessary by any health care professional. So in theory if you signed this form you have agreed to the vaccine and they don't need to ask permission again.

April - posted on 10/13/2011

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If my 12 year old felt so uncomfortable with coming to me for the vaccine, I would have to wonder what I did wrong as a parent! Hopefully, I will never be in this position because I plan on teaching my children that they don't have to be ashamed, embarrassed, or afraid to come to me with issues regarding their sexual health.

Stifler's - posted on 10/13/2011

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yeah it's just like "only gay people get AIDS". I think if you're responsible for your child until 18 you should know about any medication they are taking. or any vaccinations they get.

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Tina - posted on 10/19/2011

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I agree especially on the abortion one that is a way too big decision for a young girl to be making on her own.

Donna - posted on 10/19/2011

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lol yea. i see what u mean there. At 12 i had an idea what sex was but had no intentions of trying it lol. I really really hope when my daughters are 12 they have the same mentality.

Katherine - posted on 10/19/2011

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I agree, in the end it is your child's decision. But I also would want to know what my twelve year old is doing to her body (I have 2 girls 6 and 2.5).

I especially don't agree with the abortion one. The other ones fine. But jabbing yourself and deciding to get an abortion at 12 is just way too young IMO.

Donna - posted on 10/19/2011

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yes and no. I'm kinda torn. I think the parents should be involved and have the right to know, but in the end I really think its your childs decision. I'm in a stable sexual monogomaus relationship where im pretty sure i wont be contracting an std, but my children are not. Which is why I think they should be allowed to make that decision. Plus there arent many guys out there who are gonna be like hey I have an STD on their first date lol

Katherine - posted on 10/19/2011

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Right, but don't you think the parents should have a say in it? Or do you think that 12 is old enough to make that decision on their own?

Donna - posted on 10/19/2011

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yea, i mean if you think about it as soon as a girl/ young lady gets pregnant, they make all the decisions about whats going to happen, and kids these days are more educated, even at 12 I would think they would want to be informed if presented with an option like that

Katherine - posted on 10/18/2011

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Good point Tracey. I agree. I still think parents should know about it though. This is a very controversial subject. On the one hand, parents should know, on the other hand the kid should have a choice.

Jodi - posted on 10/18/2011

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I believe it is something that should be discussed with your child, not something to force upon them. Especially as we are talking about teens. I mean, I discuss many other matters with my older children that involve their welfare, and I value their input in making my decisions for them, why not this issue? I always give consideration to their views on issues too, and this would be no exception.

Tracey - posted on 10/18/2011

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There is an assumption that a child in an anti vax house wants a jab and should be allowed to get it without parental consent.

What about the other way round, should the same age child in a pro vax household be allowed to refuse the jab even though parents want them to have it?

Jodi - posted on 10/15/2011

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@ Sherri, I think there is a difference between boys and girls. It is actually a fact that testosterone screws with boys heads in their pre-teen and early teen years. I have a book which discusses the effects of testosterone, and it actually says that we mothers need to be their brains, their organisation and their diaries for about a 3 year period because the testosterone makes them that vague. Teenage girls are different. They get hormonal, but they are not vague like boys are. My step daughter was 10 times more capable at that age than my boys were/are.

Tina - posted on 10/14/2011

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I got my vaccinations at shool and it was explained clearly enough. But I guess not everybodies experience is the same. And parents should atleast be given notice about any vaccine being given. I can remember from when I was about five I was responsible for my remembering when I needed nebulisers and what dosage and the same for my puffers. Not every child can fully understand the pros and cons of vaccines. But not every parent is actively involved in their childs life. Why should a child be denied a vaccine that could protect them from a harmful disease and just because a parent can't be bothered. I can see most people on hear are good parents and want to be involved and make the decisions. Not every child has this luxury.

Stifler's - posted on 10/14/2011

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When the Hep B vax came out we got it at school and a tetanus booster in year 10. Or some other booster.

Katherine - posted on 10/14/2011

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@ Tracy, yes I agree it could interact with medications. Another good reason to be against this law.

Sherri - posted on 10/14/2011

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That is great that your daughter can do this and I understand because it is life threatening.

But you can't lump all kids as they can and should be able to do this at 12. Heck unless I have their medicines on me I don't remember the dosages and I give them to them daily and refill them monthly.

[deleted account]

My 7 year old daughter knows that if she is starting to get hives, she needs 25mg of childrens benedryl right away or she will end up in the ER. She knows this because I made sure she knows. My cousin couldn't get through on my cell once when she had an allergic reaction and she was able to tell her the right dose. That was almost 2 years ago.

Sherri - posted on 10/14/2011

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My 14yr old wouldn't even think to tell the doctor that he is on albuterol or singular and most definitely doesn't know the doses. He would simply say I have asthma.

My 13yr old knows he is on ADD medicine but has no clue what it is called or the dosage.

They just don't pay attention to such things or details. I find this to be the case with most preteen, teen kids.

[deleted account]

I agree that most 12 year old kids aren't very aware of family medical history.
Every time I have gone to the doctor for as long as I can remember they have asked the same questions. Are you taking any other medications, prescription or OTC? Are you taking any dietary supplements or homeopathic remedies? Do you have any known allergies to medications or anything else? A 12 year old should at the very least be able to answer those questions!

Tracey - posted on 10/14/2011

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Health implications that should not be left to a 12 year old to understand - side effects, (and there are side effects to almost every medicine out there, however rare) will medicine A react with medicine B that the child is taking and may not think to mention to the Dr / nurse, family history of medical conditions / problems that may render a treatment harmful, allergies etc.

In UK I believe all kids vaccines over the age of 10 are given at school (although I may have this wrong)

[deleted account]

My parents were very open with all 6 of us kids. By 12 we were the ones making the decisions about our health, they gave us their input but it was our decision. BUT my parents would talk to us about all of the options with no bias and help us understand so we could make an educated decision before they told us how they felt about it. If parents were more willing to sit down with their kids and show them the pros and cons of this vaccine, the benefits and side effects, then maybe that wouldn't have been an issue. No 12 year old is going to understand anything like that 100%. Like Tina said, some kids have no other choice then to make these decisions for themselves.
I've never even heard of a school giving any vaccine.

Sherri - posted on 10/14/2011

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Wow Tracey I can't believe your school gives vaccines right there!! That alone floors me.

I agree with Tracey no 12yr old can understand 100% what it is a vaccine does, the long term implications for getting or not getting it. They are simply not mature enough.

I am not saying they are stupid by all means they will understand to a point but not all of it. Heck my 14yr old can't even do this yet either. They tend to be pretty clueless at this age about there health etc.

[deleted account]

Tracey: What exactly are the health implications that are so complicated that a 12 YO can't understand them?

Tina - posted on 10/14/2011

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I remember when I was in School a friend of mine would always be in trouble because his Mum refused to sign his diary she refused to sign anything as matter of fact. She wasn't involved at all. All though ideally you would think it would be the parents making hard decisions and it should be a parent giving consent but their a parents that just don't care and sometimes it's left up to the child to make the hard decisions. Children shouldn't have to make decisions alone but they do. And like others have said if we do our jobs right we shouldn't face this dilemma. It's important for a child to know they can come to us about anything.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 10/13/2011

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As much as we may do our jobs perfectly as parents, kids are going to keep secrets. Some are good, some are bad. I would prefer my kids talk to me about everything, but I know that is unrealistic. But I can try to protect them and educate them as much as I can. As pro choice as I am, I will let my daughter know if she ever ends up in that dilemma, we will work through it.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 10/13/2011

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The children should not be having sex at that age. Obviously SOMEONE needs to look out for their best interest, and it is not just some stranger on the street offering a quick fix of abortion. Getting pregnant is heavy. No one should have to go it alone. The consequences of having an abortion are especially difficult to deal with. The children may jump at the chance with out fully understanding what they were getting into.

Ez - posted on 10/13/2011

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April, that's exactly it. Pro-active, open, engaged parents are unlikely to face this dilemma. If we do our jobs right, it won't even be an issue. Because even if our children monumentally fuck up, they will know they can approach us.

Ez - posted on 10/13/2011

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So you think those parents should have the right to inflict their moral or religious code on their daughter's reproductive rights? Because that's what it amounts to.

Nobody likes to think that their child would go through something like an abortion without our knowledge. It's terrifying. But if I am going to fight for the right of boys to keep their foreskins, I will also support a teenage girl's right to bodily integrity. No girl, no matter how young, should be forced to do anything, by anyone, she doesn't want to do with her uterus.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 10/13/2011

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See, I disagree with that train of thought though. I am pretty liberal in my thinking I feel....but the 14 year old is just a child herself. Those parents are there to protect that child, not torture them.

Ez - posted on 10/13/2011

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Well the hope is that we are all engaged enough that our children would always come to us, and will have no need to do anything behind our backs. I'd say most people on this board plan to parent their teenagers that way.

The problem is not all parents are like that. And for the children of those parents, these services need to be available. What if a 14yo finds herself pregnant from a date rape, and her parents are rabid pro-lifers and will not give consent for her to have an abortion. That is why these laws are in place. To protect those kids.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 10/13/2011

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And, I would most certainly want to know if my child was going in for an abortion.....lets not forget that is part of the OP too! Or if my 12 year old went on birth control. Yup. I would want to be a part of those heavy decisions. They are all difficult decisions to make as an adult that has lived, and understands repercussions. I think it is to heavy of a burden to think a 12 year old can make a reasonable and responsible decision concerning medical procedures, medications, and vaccinations......even if they are raised "well".

~♥Little Miss - posted on 10/13/2011

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Amy, I would still want to know if my child received a vaccination for ANYTHING! I am the parent, it is my responsibility to know.

Iridescent - posted on 10/13/2011

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HIV is often also asymptomatic, until it becomes active infection or full blown AIDS. That can take up to something like 20 years. That's also an STD. If we were discussing an AIDS vaccine, would you view it differently?

Ez - posted on 10/13/2011

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I think because it is often asymptomatic (until it gives you an abnormal pap result), and can be contracted even with safe sex, it is actually thought of in a different light to other STDs. That has been my experience anyway.

The link between STDs and promiscuity really needs to change anyway. I know a girl who caught herpes from her first ever partner. So this whole idea that vaccinating against HPV gives a green light shag everything that moves and we can protect our kids by teaching abstinence is completely asinine. A girl could save herself for marriage and if her new husband has had even one other sexual partner she will be at risk.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 10/13/2011

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Oh ok Erin, I was thinking that maybe it just was not known in Australia as an STD.

Stifler's - posted on 10/13/2011

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I think it's like any vaccine, you need to give consent before 18. or 16. whatever.

Stifler's - posted on 10/13/2011

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I think that if i had a 12 year old and this was available I'd make my kid get it, just like the flu shot. I had it.

Ez - posted on 10/13/2011

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Oh I know it is, but I'm just saying that was not the focus of the campaign here. They consciously pushed the 'cancer' angle because they knew there would be parents who would balk at anything to do with their child's sexual health.

Michele - posted on 10/13/2011

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Ironically, the governor of CA signed a law the same day that bans anyone under 18 from tanning beds. Apparently they are old enough at 12 to decide about the long term effects of HPV, but not the long term effects of tanning beds.

Ez - posted on 10/13/2011

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This vax is given at 12 for the same reason they get a Rubella booster at 12... to catch the majority BEFORE they become sexually active. And honestly, I never know what to make of these Gardasil discussions because it has not been marketed as an STD vaccine in Australia as it appears to have been elsewhere. I'm a medical secretary and the drug company has managed to keep the focus on the cancer. I have never seen the word STD/I on any of the advertising that came through the office.



As for the OP, I think 12 is very very young and I don't know how informed or responsible they would be at that age (since my child is still a toddler lol). But I am a firm believer in a person's right to bodily integrity, and I do believe teenage girls should be able to acquire BC, STD screenings and abortion without parental consent. So I guess I would have to support the Gardasil too.



Honestly, the idea of my child seeking medical treatment without my knowledge does make me nervous. Which is why I hope to foster the kind of relationship where she never feels the need to.

Lady - posted on 10/13/2011

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I was against my girls getting the vaccine until I did a little research on it - I thought I'll teach them not to be promiscuous and to have safe sex but seemingly that will not protect them fully - condoms don't protect againt HPV completely as it can be passed on just by the surrounding areas touching and all they need is two partner in lss than a year to be at risk - I do think parents should give concent for any medication to administered to children but I think parents need to be aware of the full risks involved in not vaccinating their girls - my daughter will be 12 next year and she will be getting it, I don't have a problem with the age I think they are choosing that age not because they expect them to be sexually active and I don't think it's giving them permission I think it's like the rubella test that they get at a similar age - they know all girls will be in scho at that time therefore they can target them all and prevent as much as posible - I know if they had waited untill I was older I would have been convieniently absent the day they wanted to stick me with a needle!!!

[deleted account]

The only problem with that is whether we as parents think that 12 is old enough or not, teens are still having sex at a very young age. Most parents aren't open to their 13 or 14 year old saying "I need condoms" or "I need birth control just in case I decide to have sex". Children as young as 12 are starting to have sex and making that decision whether they are old enough to or not. My sister lost her virginity at 13, my other sister 15, me 15 and my oldest sister 18. My best friend lost hers at 13 and that was 20 years ago.

Iridescent - posted on 10/13/2011

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Yes, a child raised in a vaccine-free household is less likely to want to be vaccinated. But if they are aware of that view already quite well, and want it despite that, shouldn't they have the right to receive it? The point isn't whether they are likely to use the opportunity - it is whether they should have the opportunity if they want it. Those children are more likely yet to know the risks of it, whether they be real or theoretical or simply the unknown. So that child would certainly have made an informed decision. Doesn't that make it their right if they want it regardless, to be able to receive it? It's for their own health. And many children from age 12 on are fully capable of traveling to clinics, getting abortions, birth control, STD tests, and the parents are totally clueless. I'm not saying mine are doing that - I am saying this happens every single day in the US. They manage.

Iridescent - posted on 10/13/2011

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They can already have all the rest without parental consent. The only new thing is the vaccine. That's why we're discussing the vaccine.

[deleted account]

The only thing out all of those the parent should have to consent for is abortion IMO. I know many teens who are having safe sex (birth control, condoms HPV vax, etc.) but haven't talked to their parents because they aren't able to for many reasons. I would rather my children talk to me about it but if they don't I would hope they were being safe!

Starfish - posted on 10/13/2011

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I'm personally not a fan of the HPV vaccination, but I do believe it's fair to let them decide to get or not.

In an ideal world, things like HPV vax, STD testing, Birth Control, and abortions could be left up to the parents, because ideally, they'd value their child's wants, needs, and general well-being above all else.

However, such things are not the case. We live in a world of parents who refuse to admit their kids are growing up, who refuse to admit that their personal policies aren't the end-all be-all of the universe, and who refuse to consider anything they aren't already convinced of. We live in a world where parents HURT their children. And though 12 is very young, I think it's a perfect age to start taking responsibility for your well-being and making decisions about your body.

I do, however, firmly believe that we should make a point to further educate people, especially our children, with the knowledge to make these decisions. That's key. If my daughters can choose to do these things for themselves, I want them COMPLETELY educated on the topics. The pros, the cons, the risks, the benefits, etc. And I make a point to do this personally, but I'd like to see it on a grander scale. With REAL facts, not propaganda from either side of the arguments.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 10/13/2011

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In fact, I am not sure why we are focusing just on the vaccinations. The OP says they can get abortions, std testing AND birth control...not just this vaccination without parental consent. Wholly shit. If parents don't need to be present for these kinds of HUGE life altering decisions, why don't they all just get emancipated. They are already acting like adults. Go get jobs to support your lifestyle if you don't want your parents included.

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