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Posted on January 19, 2020 at 4:00 AM

Iowa Senator Mike Lee recently introduced the Parental Accessibility Rights for Emergency and Negligent Treatment (PARENT) Act and the Parental Right to Know Act, a pair of bills designed to ensure that parents have access to the policies regarding the care and medical records of their children from hospitals and organizations that use taxpayer funding.


“Parents play the most important role in caring for the health of their children,” Sen. Lee said in a press release. “It is critical that they have information about the policies of the health organizations to which they bring their children for care, and that they have the ability to access their medical records. These bills would ensure that parents are afforded the right to remain informed and involved in their children’s care.”


Current law lacks transparency about parental rights regarding both the suspension of care and access to medical records from institutions that use CHIP or Medicaid funds. The result has been that some children have stopped receiving care without the consent of their parents, even resulting in death in some cases; and that parents have also been denied access to their children’s medical records in some cases.


The PARENT Act would require any hospital, clinic, or healthcare facility that receives Medicaid or CHIP funds to include information on their website and in print, upon request by the patient or parent, on the following: policies related to the provision, withdrawal, or denial of life-sustaining procedures, nutrition, or medication; policies related to parental consent of these services; and policies related to the required notification of parents and parental consent for a “do-not-resuscitate” order.


The Parental Right to Know Act would require any hospital, clinic, or healthcare facility that receives Medicaid or CHIP funds to include the information on parental access to medical records of minors under the age of 18 on their website and in print, upon request of the patient or parent.

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