No Parents’ Consent

There was a sharp rapping at the door–frantic and insistent.  I opened it to find the two children from next door.  The oldest, left in charge, was holding her brother’s arm with concern.  He had fallen and hit his head she said–their parents were out.

I immediately had the boy sit down while I ran to get a towel to hold to his bloody and bleeding head.

I drove him to the urgent care center and sat with him for two hours in the waiting room.  He snuggled against me.

Nothing could be done without his parents’ consent.

Flash Fiction of 100 words.  But it’s not fiction!

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  1. This one leaves my heart cold. In this day and age, we fear the reprisals. A sad commentary.


    • I’m assuming something would have been done for the child if his life had been in danger–I’m assuming…

      Pretty bad though I have to admit.


  2. You are so brave …. nowdays, if you try to help, you run the risk of being chastize for being nosey or stepping on anothers toes. It is a fine line. I hope all went well.


    • This happened many years ago when my own girls were young. The boy was fine after his parents showed up and took over his care. I think it could have been handled more humanely then it was though. The parents were grateful to me for my care of their son.


  3. In a world where Bureaucracy’s might renders innocent lives worthless..!!


  4. Afraid of being sued. Some lawsuits filed nowadays are ridiculous. 🙄

    Part of the Hippocratic oath is to save lives, right?

    Some states, a minor doesn’t need consent to get permission to have an abortion or buy birth control. Some are tried as adults for serious crimes like murder, armed robbery. When does a minor becomes an adult?


    • I’m thinking if his life had been in danger, the doctors there would have taken action. But still he was hurt and scared and had to just sit there waiting and waiting until his parents showed up.


      • Had to and being allowed to I feel are two different things.

        As in cases of emergencies, a doctor duty is to save lives. I know underage and all, even with adults they have to get permission to do operations, blood transfusions, etc.

        There are too may thin lines.


      • Too many rules, laws and regulations these days… I guess death had to be imminent before the doctors would take any action. I’m thankful that wasn’t the case here!


  5. are they human beings or butchers? they let a baby suffer just because his parents happen to be non accessible?


    • This is our society today. He wasn’t in danger of dying so they just left him (and me) to sit and wait until his parents finally showed up.


      • in india the scenario is often worser, they often let the people die if “red ribbon” interferes. eg if a person injured in accident is brought to hospital without being reported in local police station they wait till that official report is filed. wow!

        sorry but to me a person’s life or suffering means more than red ribbon.


      • Oh, my goodness–that’s totally harsh, Trisha. Heartless! Paperwork done before treatment of the dying?!


      • its reality down here, it happens almost every day (that is death), the negilgence on pretext of paperworks happens more than once every day.

        they have their excuses, very substantial ones. they do it to avoid hassles by police.


      • I’m afraid there are some who don’t value life as much as others. Or at least some people’s lives aren’t as valuable as others. So very disappointing.


  6. Raises a lot of questions. But, yes, he would be treated if it was a life-threatening emergency. I guess another issue is why didn’t the parents leave a contact number? And how have we become so litiginous as engender this type of fear in health care providers (I speak as a health care provider, happily retired for now)


    • Yes, it does raise some questions. I was happy to help as much as I did but wished something more could have been done for him. Don’t know where the parents were and why no way to reach them for their children. It’s a shame that health care providers have become so fearful of being sued that they have to put aside their humanity–but I do understand why they do.


  7. Thank heavens you said that it was fiction!!@!#^#@
    Gayle, hope life is bright at your end.. 🙂 One tough girl that you are.. Regards xoxox


    • No, I said it is NOT fiction! It’s a true story–really happened many years ago. But I wrote it in Flash Fiction form of 100 words. I should have called it Flash Non-Fiction.

      That’s funny–I’ve never regarded myself as a “tough girl!” Maybe I’m tougher than I think, huh?


      • Oh my mistake!!!
        Non- fiction. I am appalled! Oops, I read it as it’s “only” fiction.. darn me!!!

        What happened then? I mean how did it go from there? This is so unfortunate. The hopelessness doesn’t end.. 😦

        I say you are tough- tougher than I am.. 🙂 You wouldn’t know of it maybe because good people never say they are good. So likewise.. 😀

        Hugs xxxxxx


      • It was an innocent mistake, Olivia. I did put that it was “Flash Fiction”–my error too!

        Well, I just waited there at the clinic with him until finally his parents showed up and then they were able to get care for him. It had never occurred to me that I wouldn’t be able to get him taken care of if I took him there. But no, I wasn’t able to. His parents were very nice and grateful to me.

        If a child is in need of help, you just rise to the occasion. If he had been really bad off though I would have called for an ambulance!

        Thanks, Olivia!! You are a dear! 🙂


  8. Jessica

     /  March 26, 2011

    That’s very cleverly told in just 100 words! And what a scary thing, having to wait for parental consent. I’m not too good with blood so you might have had another patient to help if I had been with you!


    • Thanks, Jessica. If a similar scenario should happen, I might call for an ambulance and let paramedics take over–they could treat you too! 🙂


  9. Holy moly! What a sad state of affairs. Riveting, in few words.


  10. where are you?


    • I’m right here. Was out all day yesterday at a workshop with my girls. And the day before with my mother. Still haven’t quite gotten back on track since my sister was here either. I didn’t feel well last night and today–my fibromyalgia is kicking up I think–I had to go back to bed and take a nap.

      Thanks for your sweet care and noticing my absence.


  11. These things happen. Such a litigious world in which we live. We try to do a good thing – to build in protections – and then take it to extremes of absurdity. Sad!

    I’m chuckly at Trisha’s comment. Anyplace else they’d just treat the child.


    • Absurd is right! But we’ve turned into a “sue happy” society–doctors are scared to make a wrong move these days.

      Yes, Trisha’s comment is shocking. There sure are some twisted people in charge of law making in the world.


      • Oh, I just saw now that she meant it a different way than I took it … but the way I took it is telling.

        How’s that for a jumble of a sentence. Think I need a bit of coffee and some fresh air! LOL! Have a wonderful day, Gayle. Sorry to see your fibromyalgia is kicking up. Probably you are more comfortable in the summer. I wondered where you were and was concerned. Feel better … In metta, Jamie


      • Oh, well, Jamie–maybe it was too early for you to get into such a heavy discussion without your coffee first! Not a problem.

        The cold does seem to make me feel worse somehow… It comes and goes as it pleases though. Thanks for your concern and lovingkindness… xoxo



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