Joe Jordan | Nebraska Watchdog
The state’s health boss is defending Douglas County’s plan allowing minors to test themselves for sexually transmitted diseases without their parents OK.
“It’s understood that some people will not get testing or treatment without confidentiality,” Dr. Joann Schaefer tells Nebraska Watchdog.
The Chief Medical Officer and Director of Public Health under Republican Gov. Dave Heineman adds, “Dr. Pour is looking for an approach to address a long-standing problem in Douglas County.”
Schaefer’s comments echo those of Douglas County Health Director Adi Pour who, along with Schaefer, has noted that no states—including Nebraska—require parental consent when it comes to stemming STD’s.
“Of course when dealing with youth, they are encouraged to talk to a parent or a trusted adult,” says Schaefer.
In addition to the testing Pour tells Nebraska Watchdog that treatment through the county would be available at low or no cost to those who test positive.
Last week, Nebraska Watchdog first reported on a stormy county health meeting where Omaha’s extremely high rates of chlamydia and gonorrhea were the targets of a now controversial plan.
At the meeting, Pour announced an $88,000 grant from Blue Cross and Blue Shield.
The money — private funds, not tax dollars — would buy test kits allowing young people to test themselves for STDs without telling their parents.
One woman in the audience appeared critical of the “don’t tell your parents” policy.
Her questions irritated County Commissioner Mike Boyle, who got into a shouting match with the woman. Both repeatedly called each other “ignorant” and the woman dropped an “f” bomb.
Contact Joe Jordan at [email protected]
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