The Hoboken Patch and PolitickerNJ reported that the New Jersey State Senate has unanimously passed a bill that would allow children to “consent” to psychiatric or psychological treatment of any kind without the consent — or even the knowledge — of their parents.
“Hopefully by creating a more private means for them to seek treatment we can drastically improve and ultimately save lives,” one of the sponsors of the bill told PolitickerNJ.
“Research has shown that one of the greatest barriers to mental health treatment for teens is stigma,” said another sponsor. “Millions of young people forego treatment every year because of this. Hopefully this bill will help them overcome that and seek the much-needed help they deserve.”
The politicians thanked the Keystone Club of the Hudson County Boys & Girls Clubs for pushing the bill.
“The bill now awaits final legislative approval by the General Assembly,” reported the Hoboken Patch. The new text has been added to a bill that already authorized minors to confidentially consent to treatment for venereal diseases and substance abuse.
The text of the bill:
When a minor believes that he is in need of behavioral health care services for the treatment of mental illness or emotional disorders, his consent to treatment under the supervision of a physician licensed to practice medicine, or an individual licensed to provide professional counseling under Title 45 of the Revised Statutes, including, but not limited to, a psychiatrist, licensed practicing psychologist, certified social worker, licensed clinical social worker, licensed social worker, licensed marriage and family therapist, certified psychoanalyst, licensed psychologist or licensed clinical social worker, or in a health care facility licensed pursuant to P.L.1971, c.136 (C.26:2H-1 et seq.) shall be valid and binding as if the minor had achieved the age of majority. Any such consent shall not be subject to later disaffirmance by reason of minority. Treatment for behavioral health care services for mental illness or emotional disorders that is consented to by a minor shall be considered confidential information between the physician, the individual licensed to provide professional counseling, or the health care facility, as appropriate, and the patient, and neither the minor nor his physician, professional counselor, or health care facility, as appropriate, shall be required to report such treatment when it is the result of voluntary consent.
The consent of no other person or persons, including but not limited to, a spouse, parent, custodian or guardian, shall be necessary in order to authorize such hospital, facility or clinical care or services [or], medical or surgical care or services, or counseling to be provided by: a physician licensed to practice medicine [or by]; an individual licensed or certified to provide treatment for alcoholism; or an individual licensed to provide professional counseling under Title 45 of the Revised Statutes, as appropriate, to such a minor.
Giving Their Own Consent: Bill Would Allow NJ Minors to Self-Approve Mental Health Care (Hoboken Patch, May 20, 2015)
Bill to Help Empower Teens to Seek Mental Health Treatment Advances (PolitickerNJ, May 4, 2015)
ASSEMBLY, No. 3435, STATE OF NEW JERSEY, 216th LEGISLATURE (Introduced June 23, 2014)