Insulin shots can be administered to students by unlicensed school employeesOn Monday, the highest court in California ruled unanimously that with the students’ parents and doctors’ consent, school employees who are unlicensed can give diabetic students insulin shots in case the nurse is absent. According to the justices at the court, their decision now places the burden on the physician of each student to decide if school personnel can administer insulin on their patients.

Insulin administered outside hospitals

In effect, the state law now leaves the physician of each student, of course with the consent of their parents to decide on whether insulin can be administered appropriately and safely by the unlicensed school personnel. Kathryn Mickle Werdegar, an associate justice for the court, continued to say that this now reflects the reality practically that any insulin which is not administered in clinical settings and at the hospitals is actually administered by laypersons. This has been attracting a lot of debate in the recent times and the court has now finally helped in settling the dust.

This ruling by the court came after eight years when four elementary school students filed the well known original lawsuit. These students were diabetic and were from two popular California school districts. These students, according to their suit, wanted to be able to get blood sugar readings and insulin shots while they were at school. Based on the ruled given by the court, now, even when the doctor or the nurse is not present at the institution, schools are required to have some of their staff personnel trained to help diabetic children.

What others said regarding the ruling

Lynda Burleson, the immediate former president of California School Nurses Organization of the southern section said that the operative world that the Supreme Court ruling used is that of a ‘trained’ person. If schools in California do not make an effort of hiring a nurse, she said that they would spend the next coming six months trying to understand exactly what the term trained means.

While most people of course praised the decision reached at by the court, some organizations on the other hand were quick to point out that the court only managed to set a bad precedent. The American Nurses Association notes the Los Angeles Times referred to this ruling as a precedent that was a disturbance not just for California but for the whole nation.

This decision consequently lowers the health care level of children who are required to get healthcare services while at school. The ruling exposes them at a risk of medication errors, which can result in very severe consequences, says the association. However, the American Diabetes Association strongly believes that the decision by the court was a good step taken in the right direction. Schools in California have about 14, 000 students who suffer from diabetes.