New Jersey Bill Cuts Parents Out of Mental Health Treatment Decisions

Rob Wipond
18
1896

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)

18 COMMENTS

  1. Really B? It’s the opposite for me. This chills me to the bone. Sandy Hook (Newtown) served as the perfect disaster capitalism of Bigpharma. Columbia University’s admission of a false positive rate of 80% on Tennscreen is lost information. The horror of this….the trajectory of massive numbers of teen psych drug hangings from akathisia makes my blood run cold.

  2. We have to stop talking and stop acting or there will be more and more of this.

    And the rhetoric they use to justify this is sickening. One hopes that some parents groups will act on this (but of course, I am sure that NAMI is all for it.) The Ablechild group could be a good force in this, though they are not in New Jersey.

    Maybe the “Alternatives” conference will take this up. Just being sarcastic, of course. “Alternatives” is about the main reason historically we are facing horrible measures like this now.

    I am considering going to “Alternatives” and getting arrested. Our movement needs to recognize how SAMHSA and those who cooperate with it are complicit in taking away our constitutional rights.

    • There is more to it historically. I’m not familiar enough with Alternatives to comment on that, but I know there are other roots of this problem besides that and SAMHSA. I wish to somehow connect with you one on one to explain it, but I don’t want to post my email address here.

      • SAMHSA sucks. They support keeping kids in abusive residential treatment programs without due process. And once in these places, drugs can be forced. All in the name of treatment, but these so-called treatments aren’t scientifically backed…. most are proven damaging and sometimes deadly. GAO investigations 2007 and 2008. George Miller, HR 911

  3. Another step in making people the property of the state, to bend, fold or mutilate according to what is most financially profitable to the corporate propagandists who own the prostitutes who are the elected officials.
    In Choice Theory the five basic needs are survival, love and belonging, power, fun, and freedom. People exhibiting maladjustment are not to be considered as mentally ill, but examples of ways people choose to behave when they feel thwarted in the attempt to satisfy any of the five basic needs. What others consider to be mental illness, Choice theory sees as ways people choose to deal with the pain of loneliness or disconnection in order to avoid even greater pain. Choosing intense symptoms such as depression and anxiety keeps angering under control, and enables people to avoid what they are afraid of doing. A person’s every behavior – thinking, doing, feeling, and physiology – constitute his or her best effort to meet their basic needs. Behaviors may be responsible or irresponsible as well as effective or ineffective. Responsible behavior fulfills ones needs without preventing others from fulfilling theirs. Irresponsible behaviors fulfill one’s needs in a way that prevents others from fulfilling theirs. One can influence, but not control others. If one wants to have the highest probability of successful change, one needs to target areas which one can control. Healthy functioning is characterized by responsible behavior. For more on Choice Theory go to http://www.wglasserinst.com or read Choice Theory © 1998 by William Glasser.

  4. What if this is a step in a good direction? If minors’ consent is meaningful then their non-consent is also meaningful. A corollary to this bill is to make it so that if minors want to refuse treatment someone is trying to force on them, they get a court hearing like an adult does. Even if the entity doing the attempted forcing is their own parents, or the state while they are a ward of the state.

    A bill making consent or lack thereof, by a minor, in the case of mental health treatment, is a much needed thing.

    Even if the rhetoric surrounding it is not very good.

    I would worry that minors could get coerced or tricked into consenting to treatment though. I would like to see an informed consent clause where there is a strong requirement that they give the minor full information about the pros and cons of the proposed treatment, and information about other good treatments for their problem and how they can be accessed. Of course, this type of requirement is not the case for adults. Maybe the first step in this direction will be to make it be the case for minors, and adults will be added later? Let’s use this as a springboard toward progress.

    I see a lot of cynical and angry comments. I urge people to be constructive. Propose a course of action? We need to be active in doing constructive things. If all we do is be negative and complain, we won’t be powerful in creating what we want. We can be powerful.

    • I find it very difficult to believe that minors’ “consent” will be meaningful in any way except to get them drugged to the gills. I worked with teens for 20 years and I know that there will not be anything as true informed consent for the kids if this bill passes. Rather than let it go into effect with the hope that we can use it for any kind of a springboard we need to stomp this out now, immediately. It’s just another way to widen the net to catch more people to label and drug. How much more are we going to put up with?

  5. The allegations against Lewes pediatrician Earl B. Bradley might be the most heinous in U.S. history, but he’s far from the only pediatrician accused of being a pedophile.

    In the past 10 years, dozens of doctors have been accused of abusing hundreds of children. Many of those cases took decades to uncover, and experts believe many other pedophiles are operating undetected.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/pedophile-pediatricians-remain-in-shadows/

    “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.”

  6. Washington State has had a similar law for some time. Their law makes 13 the “age of consent” for mental health, substance abuse, or reproductive health. NAMI hates it. They always want to be involved. Of course, it does mean that young people “consent” to “treatment” that they don’t understand and that they don’t have fully explained to them. I approve of this age of consent for reproductive health, and maybe even for substance use, but it’s highly problematic in mental health when the only alternative is drugs.

  7. I didn’t even see an age limit. So a 5 year old can provide “informed consent” to psychiatric treatment, an action that is challenging for an educated adult in today’s very warped and Orwellian “mental health” world where “treatment” and “damage” are almost indistinguishable?

    — Steve

  8. “New Jersey Bill Cuts Parents Out of Mental Health Treatment Decisions”

    The psychopharmaceutical industrial complex grows in strength and power. “Mental Health” is a misnomer. “Treatment” is a euphemism. Psychiatry is a lie disguised as “medicine.”

    Enough of this nonsense. Citizens, take a stand against this oppressive regime!

  9. This is so disturbing, I can’t even put it to words…our innocent children, being sold again and again for profit, as our parental rights diminish with each passing day.

    If seeking treatment, are kids not going through parents’ insurance? (Otherwise, how will this remain “secretive” to parents? Do they just get billed later?)

    At this point, what can we do to protect our children? Any tangible actions?