Carnal Knowledge (1971)
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PIP: The decision in the Gillick case confirms that oral contraceptives (OCS) may be prescribed for adolescents under age 16 without their parent's knowlege or consent. And it is probable that to convey the information to parents will render the doctor guilty of professional miscnduct. This is true incases where the adolescent has reached the age of 16 and thus attained the age of consent, notwithstanding the decision in the Browne case. In that case, an elderly Birmingham general practitioner, Dr. Robert Browne, was chaged, on the information of a local family planning clinc, with serious professional misconduct when he told the father of a girl who had been his patient since birth that she was taking OCS. The girl had consulted a local family planning clinic, which had put her on OCS and conveyed the information to Dr. Browne in a confidential letter. Dr Browne had decided that her parents were the best people to counsel her, and since the information had been supplied by the clinic, "I could not accept from a third party a unilateral imposition of confidential information." The latter proposition is specious; the former is not a good defense at law. The decision of the General Medical Council's Disciplinary Committee in favor of Dr. Browne rests on tenuous reasoning. It was most likely wrong when it was handed down in 1971 and would almost certainly not be followed today. There is something in the Gillick case to infuriate every family doctor. At 1 level, the decision points the finger at as sensitive area of family medicine most often ignored by medical practitioners -- the provision of timely counseling, particularly in the area of sexual relations. The point has been reached where a family planning clinic's judgment can be lawfully substituted for that of parents on issues involving the moral and emotional development of their children. A doctor's obligation to maintain confidentiality does not come about by default, nor can it gan moral reinforcement as a result of some alleged "forfeiture" of parental rights, said to arise from a lack of adequate supervision, control, or even indifference. If is time for the law to consider the mess its "ad hoc" approach has created. The chaos is gargantuan in Australia. If the patient is capable of forming a sound judgment about the treatment to which he/she is consenting, and if a doctor concludes that the patient is an emancipated minor, then, in the present state of the law: a doctor commits no offense by prescribing OCS; having prescribed contraception to such a minor, it is professional misconduct to inform the patients that the minor is using contraception (Gillick); and in Queensland, unlawful carnal knowledge must be reported.
With a film directing career that has spanned nearly four decades, Nichols' other acclaimed features include such notables as Catch-22 (1970), Carnal Knowledge (1971), Heartburn (1986), Biloxi Blues (1988), Postcards From the Edge (1990), Regarding Henry (1991), Wolf (1994), The Birdcage (1996), and Primary Colors (1998). Nichols' 2001 film Wit (HBO), won Emmys for Outstanding Directing for a Miniseries, Movie or a Special and Outstanding Made for Television Movie. His most recent project is the critically acclaimed movie for television, Angels in America (HBO), where he directed a stellar cast that included Al Pacino, Meryl Streep, Emma Thompson and Mary-Louise Parker. 59ce067264