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For those of you who poo-poo (I love that word) the legal side of things - the biggest stumbling block I'm having to understanding your point of view is that, to me, I realize that certain things are illegal for a reason. As a medical professional, I understand the dangers inherent in preforming certain procedures, or administering certain medications. I also realize why the law requires a certain level of medical training, education and proof of competency before allowing a person to perform certain procedures.


I read posts where the moral of the story seems to be that untrained scouters should be able to give whatever meds, or do whatever procedures they feel comfortable doing, because it probably won't have any bad consequences, and, besides, we can't worry about getting sued, can we? To me, and please correct me if I'm wrong, people seem to ignore their lack of necessary medical education by making light of the perceived ridiculousness of the legal system. That attitude seems to ignore two very real problems - first, that you do need to have training and education, and be recognized by some authority, to be able to administer meds or perform certain procedures. I don't say this due to any legal requirement, but because I feel that our scouts deserve the best medical care possible, and sometimes that may mean that scouters need to recognize the limits of their competencies, and only perform the treatments that know how and are authorized to perform, while focusing on getting the ill/injured scout to professional medical care. Second, I recognize that there is, in fact, a very real legal danger that can come from exceeding your scope of care. God forbid, if you, as a scouter, exceeded your scope of care, and provided some treatment that was, in fact, inappropriate, resulting in a more serious illness or injury, or even death, the legal system is able to deal with you very harshly. I'm not saying that you will be sued, or that the system is reasonable, but the fact is that certain things are illegal. I will say, though, that certain things are illegal for a reason, and I personally would have very little sympathy for a scouter who caused harm to another individual because he or she failed to realize the medical and legal limitations on his or her ability to provide medical care.


Also, we teach our scouts that a Scout Is Obedient to his country's laws. We teach our scouts that if we feel that these laws are wrong, we work to get them changed in a responsible manner - we don't ignore them. And when I read something like, "Even though I have no medical education, I don't have a problem giving another person's kid a tylenol. I doubt anything bad will happen, and it really would be silly if I got sued...", I kind of hit a stumbling block in my ability to understand exactly how we justify these things.


This isn't just some hypothetical discussion of uniform policies, attendance policies, policies on policies, etc - in these cases, we are presuming to take a child's health care into our hands. There are very real medical and legal consequences to these actions, consequences that I feel should be so easily dismissed as they have been in this discussion and related discussions on this forum. I'd look forward to continue this discussion.


And remember, it really is about the kids.

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(see http://www.scouter.com/forums/viewThread.asp?threadID=184944#id_184944). :)


That was an R2, R7, R11, with an R3 chaser.


I say J2, J9, J11, J16, J21, with a J4 chaser in some circumstances (like states dat at least nominally require camps to have prior parental permission for topical medications like sunscreen).


I think abstractin' the discussion to issues of "rules" and such (especially when Trek Safely tells us to bring meds...) ain't da right way to go. Specifics make for a better discussion. dScouter, do yeh have any issue with the care given in the two scenarios?


As for da abstract stuff, there was a reason I asked that folks without legal trainin' keep those issues and speculations off of this thread, eh? Not pooh-poohin', just that those comments make about as much sense as an attorney with no medical trainin' commenting on da risks of establishing a central line.


Once again, nobody has argued "that untrained scouters should be able to give whatever meds, or do whatever procedures they feel comfortable doing". It's a fun straw man to bring out on Halloween, but I just don't know any scouters like that, eh? ;) The ones who aren't trained tend to shy away from meds entirely.


Rather than encouragin' the untrained, we've encouraged scouters to get appropriate wilderness medical training, consult with physicians, establish the same sorts of protocols for handling allergies as schools and camps, and to follow that training in the service of kids. I understand that folks with urban medical training seem to disagree with some of those professional medical opinions and courses, but that's a debate to be had within da medical not the scoutin' community, dontcha think? And I reckon it's worth rememberin' that da rules as a professional urban EMS employee just don't apply to a volunteer civilian on a campin' trip. Apples and asparagus.


Secondarily, we've argued that scouters should behave like ordinary, reasonable, and prudent parents, who don't need to be aware of da complexities of medical licensing and protocols in order to take children on camping trips and be responsible. Ordinary, reasonable, and prudent parents (and grandparents, and Uncle Joe who takes Billy on a fishing trip, etc.) give kids OTC medications on an occasional basis without da permission of the state board of public health. To argue that a 13-year-old child's grandmother giving him a tylenol for a simple headache is a legal issue is ludicrous. Could it be a medical issue? Sure, on a 1-in-a-million basis.


But 1-in-a-million issues are not what we should set policy on, eh? Nor medical practice, for that matter.




Happy Mother's Day to all! Especially to those of yeh who still have your moms around, take the time to enjoy that, eh? ;)

(This message has been edited by Beavah)

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