10-year-olds prescribed "the pill"

27th September 2007, Comments 0 comments

27 September 2007, BRUSSELS – 57 10-year-old girls in Belgium were prescribed a birth control pill in 2006. This emerged from statistics from the Riziv which appeared in the medical journal De Huisarts. Some – primarily ethnic – girls were prescribed the pill for medical reasons, such as irregular menstruation. But some were given the pill for the purpose of birth control. The situation raises an ethical question, physicians say.

27 September 2007

BRUSSELS – 57 10-year-old girls in Belgium were prescribed a birth control pill in 2006. This emerged from statistics from the Riziv which appeared in the medical journal De Huisarts. Some – primarily ethnic – girls were prescribed the pill for medical reasons, such as irregular menstruation. But some were given the pill for the purpose of birth control. The situation raises an ethical question, physicians say.

"We do not have any guideline on a starting age for the pill," says physician Lieve Peremans of the University of Antwerp. But some 11-year-old girls are indeed very developed and show provocative behaviour in some cases. There are already quite a high number of girls on the pill in the 14 to 15 age bracket (3,585 14-year-olds and 10,043 15-year-olds in 2006).

Peremans says the doctor should first try to motivate the patient to postpone starting the pill. "If that does not work, then he has the choice either of prescribing the pill or the risk of an unplanned and traumatic pregnancy," she says.

Peremans also wonders whether the pill at such a young age does not serve to mask cases in which the child is being raped by older men. "And don't' forget about the danger of sexually transmitted diseases," she warns.

[Copyright Expatica News 2007]

Subject: Belgian news

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