Parents Not Allowing Medication

Hi all. So only my second or maybe third day on the forums but I have come up with an issue.

I am 16 so my parents still have legal guardianship of me.

In the end, they decide what I do in terms of dieting and medication.

My ferritin levels are 13 and I really need iron supplements of some kind. But they do not agree despite doctors saying I should. Then there is my thyroid levels, my usual tests only test for TSH & another and from the forums you guys have told me I need T3 or something as well & parents won't allow it.

At the moment my main concern is the iron, and probably over vitamin etc. deficiencies. Best compromise I've come to so far is some cheap iron tablets from health store but they have barely any in them. :(

Any ideas of what I should do? I am pretty lost at the moment.

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  • My understanding was that if you are 16 or over you can independently visit a doctor and get treatment without your parents involvement. In fact you do not have to be registered with the same GP practice as your parents but your parents do have to register you at the practice.

    This is an excerpt from NHS Patient rights

    Young people aged 16 or over but under 18 can give independent consent to their own treatment. It is not necessary to obtain the consent of a parent or guardian.

    citizensadvice.org.uk/healt...

  • Yes, thank you so much.

  • hollygrace99 First of all, are you in the UK? If so, your parents may be your legal guardians but you have the right to consent to your own treatment.

    From NHS Choices nhs.uk/Conditions/Consent-t...

    People aged 16 or over are entitled to consent to their own treatment, and this can only be overruled in exceptional circumstances.

    Like adults, young people (aged 16 or 17) are presumed to have sufficient capacity to decide on their own medical treatment, unless there's significant evidence to suggest otherwise.

    Children under the age of 16 can consent to their own treatment if they're believed to have enough intelligence, competence and understanding to fully appreciate what's involved in their treatment. This is known as being "Gillick competent".

    So speak to your GP and maybe he will tell your parents that they have no right to refuse you accepting the treatment you so obviously need. I can't understand why your parents would want to keep you unwell, which is what such a low ferritin level will do.

    If you are not in the UK, do a google search for "legal age for medical consent in (your country)" or similar.

    As far as testing anything else, if it's through your GP then again your age should allow you to make the decision. If it's private tests you want to include vitamins, minerals, FT3, etc., (test bundles are best) then again, if in the UK, check with Blue Horizon or Medichecks if you are allowed to order them yourself as you are 16. It wouldn't be impossible for you to do a fingerprick test in private. Presumably you are allowed to open your own post.

  • Thank you very much. I am currently living in Australia so may be a little different.

    Very helpful though, thank you so much!

  • hollygrace99 Check the law for your state. I found this aifs.gov.au/publications/ci...

    .......

    While the age of majority is 18 years in all States and Territories of Australia, in New South Wales and South Australia a child's capacity to consent to medical treatment is regulated by statute, and children can consent to their own treatment once they are 14 and 16 years, respectively (Section 49 (2) Minors (Property and Contracts) Act 1970 (NSW); Section 6 (1) Consent to Medical and Dental Procedures Act 1985 (SA)).

    ........

    I raised my ferritin from 35 to 91 by eating approx 150g liver a week (maximum is 200g due to high Vit A content). Ask your mom to start cooking liver for you regularly, or do it yourself. Just buy lamb's liver from the butcher or supermarket, it only needs gently frying for a few minutes. Check recipes on the internet, lots of ways to eat it. Also eat lots of iron rich foods apjcn.nhri.org.tw/server/in...

  • Welcome to the forum, Hollygrace99.

    At sixteen you are legally old enough to make your own health decisions and do not need your parents' consent. You are entitled to attend doctor and hospital appointments without your parents and doctors may not discuss your health with your parents without your explicit consent.

    Ferrous Fumarate 2 x 210mg iron tablets should be sufficient. Boots may need a prescription for iron but most pharmacies don't and they are not expensive. Take each iron tablet with 1,000mg vitamin C to aid absorption and minimise constipation. If you are taking Levothyroxine it should be taken 4 hours away from iron.

    If your TSH is in normal range and your GP won't check other levels you can order private thyroid tests via thyroiduk.org.uk/tuk/testin... but you will need access to a bank or credit card to pay for it.

  • Thank you. I am currently living in australia so not sure if it is too different, will research that.

    Thank you for the suggestion.

  • When you next have a blood test for your thyroid hormones it should be the earliest possible appointment, fasting (you can drink water) and ask GP to test TSH, T4, T3, Free T4, Free T3 and thyroid antibodies. He or lab may not do all of them and I doubt you could afford them privately but you can look at the labs and decide. Doctor should also test B12, Vit D, iron, ferritin and folate. I think you would be able to consult your GP by yourself.

    thyroiduk.org.uk/tuk/about_...

    Your parents may just be nervous and not be aware that if we have hypothyroidism it means that we don't have enough 'energy' in our body for it to work as normal.

    Tick off symptoms you have on the above link.

    thyroiduk.org.uk/tuk/testin...

  • Thank you.

  • Eat meat.

  • Hi Holly Grace, I used to work for the careers service Connexions and my role was to support young people like yourself and would attend medical appointments with them if they wanted. In many areas this service has been cut. You may be able to have a similar service or Connexions if still available in you area, through your school or college. Schools have a duty of care and can liaise with parents for you, so you could approach a trusted teacher or school medical officer. If not find your nearest Children's Centre where they may be able to signpost you towards support you need. In our area the YMCA have a young persons drop in centre where they can give help and advice too. At 16 you are legally able to decide your own medical treatment, and services are confidential.

  • I am currently living in Australia so not sure if it is different over here. Thank you very much.

  • Why on earth don't your parents want you to take iron supplements if you need them?

  • My thoughts exactly!

  • What did they say though? How are they justifying not following doctors advice and putting your health at risk?

  • "No! You don't need that, they would have made a bigger deal out of it. Just eat some meat. You are fine."

    - In their defence the GP & endo didn't make a major deal out of it because we were discussing other issues. Still it is low

  • When my ferritin levels were similar I felt horrendous - could hardly get up the stairs. Felt exhausted all of the time. It takes a long time and a lot of iron to get ferritin levels up. If you really don't want to go against your parents, try eating 200g of liver once a week - a number of people on here have got their ferritin up successfully as there is a lot of iron in liver!

  • Good suggestion but how on earth am I able to get liver. Haha.

    Thank you very much though.

  • hollygrace99,

    Some liver is made into pate. Is that possible? (Do check the ingredients.)

    Or black pudding? Can be eaten cold as it is cooked during manufacture. I remember one sandwich shop that offered black pudding plus salad, etc., as a filling. Was really nice!

  • You should be able to buy liver st the supermarket. Perhaps your parents would be happy adding this to some meals as it's food if they prefer food to supplements?

  • Hi Holly. At 16 you can be deemed to have capacity for our own medical treatment. You can reuse to have your parents in your consultations and decide for yourself with your doctor what treatments are right for you. Your doctor, when you have been assessed as having capacity (and this stands from age 13) cannot even dicuss your medical information with your parents. Ideally they would encourage you to involve our parents but cannot insist. This is the law re minors and capacity. It is called Gillick competency. Hope that helps.

  • Thank you very much.

  • Hi holly, you need to get yourself better, why dont your parents want this for you? Refusing you meds is wrong. I have a 11 year old daughter and would want her to be tip top health. Do your parents take medication? Holly is it religous beliefs? that your parents dont want you to take meds and i dont mean that in a disrespectable way.you sound like a very well educated girl who at 16 should be able to make her own mind up.good luck.

  • I have no clue as to why they do not. I wish my mother was as caring as you.

    I am on my way to make a difference and work something out!

  • You are 16 holly and you need your parents support, is it religious beliefs holly? i would do anything in this world for my child, you arec16 holly and want to feel great at your age notvlike a old woman. I feel horrible at present wirh hyperthyroid and feel rubbish. Whatever you choose take care with meds and always read the leaflets on how to take. I am sure yiu will do good. ☺ let us know how you are getting on. Big hugs.

  • No not religious. Will keep you updated.

  • My suggestion would be contacting your local youth service perhaps the support of a social worker could help impress your concerns on your parents.

  • I looked this up for you. I work in New Zealand and it is the same here as in the U.K. But I think it may be a little different in Australia from the U.K. Because you have to be 18 not 16 however they recognise gillick competency so if your doctor recommends something and the doctor thinks you are Gillick competent they can treat you without your parents consent.

    I looked this up for you

    "Consent to medical treatment can only be given by a person who is competent to consent. In general, Australian law recognises that individuals aged 18 years and over have full legal capacity, such that they are capable of making decisions relating to their own health care. Prior to that age, parents (or legal guardians) are entitled to consent to their child's medical and dental treatment. A parent's authority in this respect is not, however, absolute, as the law in Australia recognises that children become increasingly competent as they move towards adulthood.

    Legislation

    Some states have legislation that addresses the issue of a minor's consent to medical treatment.

    According to the Minors (Property and Contracts) Act 1970 (NSW), a child aged 14 years or over may consent to his or her medical or dental treatment, and the consent of the minor will be effective in terms of defending an action for assault or battery relating to the treatment. The NSW Act also allows parents of children under the age of 16 to validly consent to their child's medical or dental treatment.

    The Consent to Medical Treatment and Palliative Care Act 1995 (SA) prescribes that an individual of 16 years of age or over can consent to medical and dental treatment 'as validly and effectively as an adult'. Provided that a medical practitioner, supported by another medical practitioner, believes that certain treatment is in the best interests of the child and the child is 'capable of understanding the nature, consequences and risks' involved, that child can validly consent to their own treatment. The SA legislation also provides that medical treatment can be administered to a child if the child's parent or guardian consents to it.

    The common law

    The common law applies in those Australian jurisdictions that have not specifically legislated in relation to the issue of minors' consent to medical treatment.

    The common law position relating to a minor's competency to consent to treatment was established by the English House of Lords decision in Gillick v West Norfolk and Wisbech Area Health Authority [1986] AC 112, which was approved by the High Court of Australia in Secretary, Department of Health and Community Services v JWB and SMB (Marion's case) (1992) 175 CLR 218. In Gillick, it was held that the authority of a parent decreases as their child becomes increasingly competent. Gillick prescribes that the parental right to determine their child's treatment terminates once a child under the age of 16 is capable of fully understanding the medical treatment proposed. Whether a particular child has the requisite intelligence and understanding to give a valid consent is a question of fact.

    While Gillick holds that a minor who has a requisite level of understanding may consent to treatment, this does not amount to a corresponding right to refuse treatment. Hence, an adolescent who is competent according to the principles established by Gillick, will generally lack the capacity to refuse life-saving treatment if his/her parents are prepared to consent to it."

    It would be easier for you to go against your parents in the U.K. at 16 particularly as you would not have to pay to see the Doctor. Perhaps the better approach would be to have a good chat with your parents unless you feel they don't have your best interests at heart. I am a newbie to this forum but I am sure if you posted your questions or concerns with any test results you would receive advice you could show your parents. If they are not in favour of you taking medication ( not sure why they wouldnt be ) maybe they would be happy for you to supplement your diet with liver.

  • Thank you.

  • I was going to mention Gillick competency

  • hollygrace

    In Australia it depends on which state you live in. All are entitled to make their own decision from 18 but some states have specific legislation that allows young people of 14 and 16 upwards to make their own decisions.

    Here is an excerpt from 'Find Law Australia' from Google Australia.

    Some states have legislation that addresses the issue of a minor's consent to medical treatment.

    According to the Minors (Property and Contracts) Act 1970 (NSW), a child aged 14 years or over may consent to his or her medical or dental treatment, and the consent of the minor will be effective in terms of defending an action for assault or battery relating to the treatment. The NSW Act also allows parents of children under the age of 16 to validly consent to their child's medical or dental treatment.

    The Consent to Medical Treatment and Palliative Care Act 1995 (SA) prescribes that an individual of 16 years of age or over can consent to medical and dental treatment 'as validly and effectively as an adult'. Provided that a medical practitioner, supported by another medical practitioner, believes that certain treatment is in the best interests of the child and the child is 'capable of understanding the nature, consequences and risks' involved, that child can validly consent to their own treatment. The SA legislation also provides that medical treatment can be administered to a child if the child's parent or guardian consents to it.

    findlaw.com.au/articles/432...

    You can also check out this website which is a government website and so reliable.

    A parent's right to decide about a child's medical treatment is almost absolute with a very young child and diminishes to a mere freedom to advise as the child grows older and matures. A child, conversely, starts by having no legal right to make medical decisions and gradually acquires greater autonomy or decision-making power until, on reaching the age of majority, the child alone has the legal authority to decide. While the age of majority is 18 years in all States and Territories of Australia, in New South Wales and South Australia a child's capacity to consent to medical treatment is regulated by statute, and children can consent to their own treatment once they are 14 and 16 years, respectively (Section 49 (2) Minors (Property and Contracts) Act 1970 (NSW); Section 6 (1) Consent to Medical and Dental Procedures Act 1985 (SA)).

    aifs.gov.au/publications/ci...

    It would be good if you can get copies of your blood test results printed out and then get hold of some reliable information about taking supplements or specific food to improve your levels and offer the information to your parents to read. Perhaps they might change their minds. You can only try your best and it would be good to elicit their support and understanding.

    You could explain that hypothyroid people do not absorb vitamins from their food efficiently and so sometimes need supplements.

  • Thank you.

  • Why won't your parents consent ? They must have given a reason

  • None. This is what makes it difficult.

  • Hi my daughter has thyroid disease when she is five . She is now 10, thank to God if her doctor never found out what happened, I can not imagine what would happened to her .My daughter had iron deficiency, she is now okay after she took iron supplement. she regularly takes thyroxin depend on her blood test result. Most parents do the best thing for their childeren, I do not know why your parents not allow you to take the tablet you need .Do not take it negative way they may have less knowldge . My dear you should explian your parents the sidefect of the disease, I hope they could understand it, if not, you should decided and start taking the medicine what your Doctor prescribed it for you. If you need help to explain your parents what was my first reaction when i heard that my daughter diagnosed thyroid and what i am now, i can do so. You can contact me by my e-mail adress.

    Good luck!

  • Thank you. They allow me to take thyroxine, just not the iron.

  • Holly then you need to simply do a google scholar search for articles about

    ferritin + levothyroxine

    because unless levels of

    Ferritin

    B12

    Folate

    Vit d3

    are ALL AT LEAST HALFWAY in their ranges your body simply will not be able to absorb or utilise the thyroxine and it will float around your body making you toxic and more ill ........you also need to take at least 2000 mg Vit C in divided doses every day to assist iron /ferritin absorption

    My granddaughter at 16 was direly ill with a ferritin of 10 and she too had hashimotos ...only when her low ferritin was corrected did thyroxine start to help

    show your parents this piece

  • Holly, has your body been through puberty? My son did not start until we addressed his anemia (addressing the anemia did regulate the thyroid by it's self)

  • Yes. I am pretty sure I am full grown. I am small though. (not overly).

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