Father of Oak Bay teen overdose victim calls for more control over kids’ medical decisions

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Opioids or nothing
WATCH: Parents of an Oak Bay teen who died of an overdose say his problems started with opioid prescriptions for post-surgery pain – Apr 22, 2018

The father of an Oak Bay teen who died of an overdose in April is calling for legal changes to give parents greater access to their kids’ medical records.

Brock Eurchuk said new rules could help other parents avoid a tragedy like their son’s.

Eurchuk’s 16-year-old son Elliot became addicted to opioids following a series of surgeries in the wake of a serious soccer accident.

“What happened with Elliott, and this is a really cold phrase, he was a medically-induced, substance-dependent adolescent,” his father told Global News.

On Friday, he met with Green Party leader Andrew Weaver to press for a system that would allow parents more control over their kids’ medical decisions.

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“I believe it is common sense that parents that are trying to do their best managing a very difficult situation with their adolescent child at risk should be informed of their at-risk behavior,” Eurchuk said.

READ MORE: After a 15-year-old’s opioid overdose death, B.C. looks at giving parents more rights

The Eurchuk family said their son was prescriped opioids following each of four surgeries, despite the family’s request that he be given alternatives — and their pleas for access to his medical records.

The family was told their son was old enough to make his own medical decisions, they said.

They say he began buying street drugs — sold as pharmaceutical-grade pills — in the five-month period between two surgeries in which he was facing chronic pain.

“Andrew [Weaver] helped us sort out our position, sort of. There’s a legislative issue around parents not being apprised of their kids at risk behavior,” Eurchuk said.

According to B.C.’s Infants Act, children under 19 may consent to a medical treatment on their own under specific conditions.

Those include the health-care provider being sure the treatment is in the child’s best interest and the child understanding the potential risks and benefits.

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“We don’t want to see it happen at the end of the session, at the end of the summer, we don’t want to see it happen sometime at the end of the government’s term, it needs to happen today,” Eurchuk said.

New regulations wouldn’t save all teenagers facing addiction issues, but could prevent the loss of some lives, he added.

The plea comes in the wake of another tragic teen death on Vancouver Island.

Last weekend, Metchosin grade 10 student Dorrian Wright died of a suspected overdose.

-With files from Jon Azpiri and the Canadian Press

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