Stephen J.LurieMD, PhD, Senior Editor
To the Editor: Dr Reddy and colleagues1 found that mandatory parental notification would prevent many adolescent girls from seeking sexual health care services. However, several other very important issues may be involved. Parents have the primary privilege, duty, and responsibility of providing for the physical, mental, emotional, moral, and spiritual needs of their children. In the case of child abuse, society does have legitimate duty to intervene to protect children, but otherwise no other person, no agency, nor the state can usurp the legitimate rights of parents to raise their own children.
Brown, Jr JE. Effects of Mandatory Parental Notification on Adolescents' Use of Sexual Health Care Services. JAMA. 2002;288(23):2970. doi:10.1001/jama.288.23.2970-JLT1218-1-2