Michael J Pagelkopf (mjpagel@SPARC.ISL.NET)
Wed, 19 Feb 1997 15:08:32 -0600
My recent posting regarding the policy memo from national on communicable
diseases brougth a personal email asking "So, in brief, what does it say?
It would be much faster than waiting to get it from the DE." I will try to
summarize the material in the second part of this posting.
Scouts-L is a wonderful resource for Scouting volunteers. I sometimes think
that those using Scouts-L see it as their only resource. Maybe there is an
urgency in the above posting. I have seen other questions posted to
Scouts-L that appear to be the type to be asked of a unit commissioner or
district executive. I appreciate the speed with which information can be
shared by email. A case in point was the change in Quality Unit
requirements that swept this resource only a few months ago. It is good
that we can share are thoughts and feelings about the program. However,
just as the boys learn the chain of leadership in the troop I think the
adult leaders must also learn to use the resource of their unit commissioner
and district executive. Hold them accountable for their position.
Concerning the communicable disease material.
The policy regarding the membership/participation policy concerning
life-threatening communicable diseases _has not changed_. There was new
language added relating to the important point of disclosure.
"Local Scouting units and their chartered institutions traditionally
determine their own membership, absent any legal constraints. Accordingly,
units and sponsoring institutions should determine the feasibility, or
desirability of allowing youth or adult members who have, or are suspected
of having a life-threatening communicable disease, to continue to particpate
in Scouting activities."
The guidelines continue with steps to be followed when and if the Chartered
Organization and/or local Scouting unit requests local council help or
assistance. Within the steps is the _new_ language.
"The evaluation process will include a commitment to the protection of the
individuals' rights of privacy and confientiality, and due regard for the
public heat interest of others. There is a very thin line separating the
individuals' rights of confidentiality, _versus other participants exposure
to potential harm,_ and the right of health care workers to know the facts.
_In arriving at such a determination, matters to be considered include the
nature of the Scouting activities; the degree of proximity to others; and
the likelihood of exposure to the condition._"
"_In addition, because of the potential harm to other participants, the
existence of the life-threatening communicable disease would have to be
disclosed to all of the adult members and in situations involving youth
members, to their parents. Unfortunately, any considerations of
confidentiality for the afflicted individual are greatly outweighed by the
necessity for the other participants to be able to knowingly limit their
exposure to the potential harm._"
The guideline also includes the recommended method of treatment by The Boy
Scouts of America for the treatment of blood wounds.
I would suggest again that unit leaders be in contact with their scouting
professional for a copy of this memo. The last line of the cover sheet
advises, "Please share this information with key volunteers and staff, and
implement as soon as possible."
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City