Imagine A World Without Informed ConsentPrint This Post
Ablechild’s mission of informed consent is more important than ever. As a nonprofit organization established by two mothers in 2001, we have witnessed our share of changes in this nation. Some changes have been excellent, like the passing of the Prohibition on Mandatory Medication Amendment, a historical law that we worked hard on that prohibits school teachers or personnel from recommending any controlled substance as a requisite for attending school. AbleChild could not have achieved this without your help.
Imagine a world where to attend public school your child would be forced to be take a psychiatric drug. The Patty Weather’s story made the front cover of the New York Post, “Zombie Boy” in 2002. So many parents and caregivers called the paper with their own personal experiences that as a result the City of New York established a 1-800 number
for parents to call to report their incidences, demonstrating that there was a clear lack of informed consent, in terms of education and mental health services. It was clear that the City did not know how to deal with these issues and the hotline was disabled. This is not what parents need and how we want our government to respond. We needed our voices heard, we needed decisive action. It was all too clear.
Pharmaceutical dollars play a direct role in internet and television network advertising and creates a conflict of interest when disseminating information to the public. Label and drug free treatment approaches have been all too frequently brushed aside for a mental health/psychiatric diagnosis and a corresponding drug prescription. Many parents are still not aware that there is a law in place preventing schools from force feeding their child mental health. Many parents still do not know that they are able to opt out of any mental health service, psychological testing, or other services not aligned with their beliefs or decisions. Lack of informed consent is evident but just one part of a larger more complex problem, the overall breakdown of our educational system. More and more children leave school unable to read or write and unaware of our basic history. Many of these children have been on drugs for mental health diagnoses, to which they are often told are life-long diseases. These same children then enter life after school and are expected to function well.
This cycle is happening daily, and the reality is that the media’s overwhelming focus on psychiatric behavioral disorders continue to increase and with it the use of psychiatric drugs with their long list of side effects. These side effects ranging from minor to deadly all too often go unreported. The general public continues to be unaware that the FDA’s MedWatch Reporting system is available to them as a tracking tool on side effects. This system, if used consistently and properly, would regulate the drug companies which is critical to public safety. This program needs to be publicly marketed so that the public is aware of its existence. Sadly though, the FDA receives less than 1% of MedWatch reports.
Our call for public awareness on these issues has fallen on deaf ears in DC due to the strong hold the pharmaceutical lobbyists have on our lawmakers. The Teacher Unions and the National Association of School Psychologists have deep grips into our educational system as well, and we have not seen these groups advocate for parents by giving them all information on these issues and granting them choice. This fight, though difficult, is not in vain. This is the reason AbleChild continues to speak out and disseminate information that always benefits informed consent and a parent’s right to choose.
We need you now more than ever. Over the last six months, AbleChild revamped our website, to ensure our message does not get lost. Parents need to know the facts and have all information to make the very best, well rounded decisions. As we volunteer our efforts on behalf of parents across this nation we still have expenses to keep us up and moving forward. We cannot do it alone. Please consider helping us with our efforts. Thank you for your continued support!