Doctors seek veto of 'bill of rights' for Florida parents

Some of the state’s largest physician associations are asking Gov. Ron DeSantis to veto a bill (HB 241) that would put into law a "parents’ bill of rights." 

The bill would enumerate rights of parents related to health care and education. But critics contend it could turn physicians into criminals if they provide health care to children without first getting parental consent. 

"Many physicians in Florida volunteer their time to serve as team physicians for a variety of high school, middle school, and elementary athletic events. Physicians also serve at many non-school sponsored team events, and many are asked to intervene even when simply observing an event," a letter requesting the veto said. "Imagine the dilemma of seeing a child sustain a spinal cord injury from a fall, being present and able to provide emergency medical assistance that might save that child’s life, but being legally prohibited from doing so unless the parent was present to provide written consent." 

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The May 13 letter was signed by physician leaders of the Florida Medical Association, the Florida Osteopathic Medical Association, the Florida Orthopaedic Association, the Florida Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Florida Chapter, American College of Surgeons, the Florida Academy of Family Physicians and the Duval County Medical Society. 

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Erin Grall, R-Vero Beach, and Sen. Ray Rodrigues, R-Estero, got final legislative approval on April 22 but has not been formally sent to DeSantis, who can either sign it, veto it or allow it to become law without his signature.