Theis announces Parental Medical Rights Protection Act

LANSING, Mich. — Legislation announced by Sen. Lana Theis on Wednesday would ensure Michigan parents have the right to accompany their children during medical procedures.

“No parent should be prohibited from being at their child’s side and no child should be denied being with their parents during medical procedures, especially in end-of-life situations,” said Theis, R-Brighton. “Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, numerous doctor’s offices and medical facilities have imposed restrictions preventing parents from accompanying their children for even the most routine procedures, and often parents were not even let into the building.”

The Parental Medical Rights Protection Act would permit at least one parent to be in the room with their children who are minors or adults with developmental disabilities and would allow both parents to be there if a child is receiving end-of-life care. The bill would prohibit doctors and medical facilities from instituting policies banning parental accompaniment with limited exceptions.

Theis said she is also drafting a bill that would prevent gubernatorial or departmental emergency or public health orders from banning parents from medical facilities and treatment rooms.

“After Larry Nassar, it is in everyone’s interest that at least one parent be allowed to accompany their child at all times, except in rare circumstances, such as in an operating room,” Theis said. “Arbitrary and unnecessary family separation is inhumane, and my legislation would prevent that from happening again in our state. Parents must be allowed to comfort and advocate for their children.”

The Parental Medical Rights Protection Act is expected to be formally introduced this week.

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