National Vice President
AbleChild, a national parent organization, dedicated to educating the public on informed consent and an individual’s right to refuse psychiatric services, stands with Majority Leader Tom DeLay in support of H.R. 181 – The Parental Consent Act of 2005.
“The federal government should become advocates in strengthening American families and encouraging parental participation in decisions that directly effect their children’s health and overall wellbeing,” said Majority Leader Tom DeLay. “In the wake of the creation of psychiatric labels, every parent should be wary of relinquishing their responsibility to the government to define and assess their child’s mental health status,” he added.
AbleChild has recently been informed that H.R. 181- The Parental Consent Act of 2005, may die in committee and the House of Representatives may not get a chance to vote on this critical informed consent bill.
H.R. 181 prohibits the federal government from being able to fund any universal or mandatory mental health screening programs. According to Michael Cannon and Marie Gryphon of the Cato Institute, “Empowering public schools to ‘play a larger role in mental health care for children’ could do special needs students and their parents more harm than good.”
Without passage of H.R. 181, the federal government will fund universal mental health screening programs and provide the mental health and psychiatric industry open access to America ’s children without the consent of their parents. This will invariably result in an increase in prescribing psychotropic drugs to many of the 56,000,000 children in America ‘s public schools.
On June 29, 2005, the FDA determined the need to add new warnings regarding psychiatric side effects to the drugs used as treatment for ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), a highly subjective diagnosis and the subject of much debate within the medical establishment and among the public. The FDA’s recent determination was prompted by reports of hallucinations, suicidal thoughts, and aggressive and psychotic behaviors brought about by the use of these drugs. Ablechild emphatically takes the position that no child should be subjected to the dangers of these drugs, nor to the life-long labels associated with subjective mental disorders without first being provided with full informed parental consent and the right to refuse.
According to the Drug Enforcement Agency, “Every indicator available, including scientific abuse liability studies, actual abuse, paucity of scientific studies on possible adverse effects associated with long-term use of stimulants, divergent prescribing practices of U.S. physicians, and lack of concurrent medical treatment and follow-up, urge greater caution and more restrictive use of Methylphenidate.” Methylphenidate, also known as Ritalin, is only one such drug, which is widely prescribed to children labeled ADHD.
To err on the side of caution is prudent, both on the subject of mandating mental health screening programs for children and prescribing drugs. AbleChild and parents nationwide are encouraged by Congressman Tom DeLay’s willingness to stand up for parental rights and the health of children.