MEMPHIS, Tennessee — In Thursday’s Ransom Note: when crazy knows no bounds. The Tennessee state legislature came up with some nutty ideas this session, and thank goodness most of them never passed.
But the idea of getting rid of our state health department has to be the craziest yet, all because of a 1987 doctrine that says it's ok for teenagers over the age of 14 to get their own vaccine shots without their mom and dad. But because eight teens have done that --eight, and 3 of them are the children of the Tennessee Department of Health Director Dr. Lisa Piercey, some republican lawmakers say it's time to abolish the health department, you know, the state agency that keeps our vital birth and death certificate records, is watching out for all public health outbreaks, inspects our restaurants, prepares for emergencies and disasters, and oversees medical examiners.
Dr. Piercey said, “I think there's a perception that we're hiding in dark alleys and whispering to kids, 'hey come get vaccinated.’” She calls the accusations overblown, and of course they are. Find me one teenager who's going to get vaccinated on their own without mom and dad ordering them to.