Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Career day demonstrator sticks students without school, parent permission

A couple of years ago I was doing an acupuncture demonstration at a high school and some of the kids asked me to "stick them." Being litigiously paranoid, I told them I couldn't do it without parental permission, even though some of the student were 18. I figured it was better to be a stick-in-the mud than sued. 

Good thing too.  

For career day in Yorktown Elementary School, an acupuncturist demonstrated on student volunteers in view of a teacher and now there is an uproar. In my opinion, she was not providing medical treatment (a shallow insertion in a random point is hardly medical treatment - more like "this is how you put on a bandage), so it seems to be a gray area in the school rules. I think the amount of hoopla is excessive. It does go to show you have to be vigilant about informed consent even with volunteers during a demonstration. 

Read the story


Now the parents are outraged about their children getting "treatments." I think some of these parents are getting outraged for the sake of getting outraged.  In the video, they are showing a full blown treatment with e-stim, not a single demonstration point as was done at career day. If an MD gave advice to the class on exercise and diet, would that constitute treatment without informed consent? If a PT had the kids do range of motion exercises, would that have sparked the same reaction about lack of permission? I agree with the other acupuncturist in the story that this kind of pulicity makes other acupuncturists look bad, but I think it is more because of how it is being covered rather than what was done. I hope this does not go before the state board of acupuncture, but if it does, I hope the acupuncturist stresses that she did not perform a treatment and therefor did not need MD referral. 

No comments: