Texas Foster Children Health Care News
Legislation signed by the Governor of Texas and effective starting 9/1/2013 provides expanded safeguards for foster children in Texas regarding their health care.
HB 915 (House Bill 915) should be taken strongly to heart by all state legislatures.
Here are some of the important points safeguarding foster children from dangerous psychotropic drugs. We have paraphrased the legalese to make it easier to read. The actual bill text can be found here.
Duties required by a guardian ad litem appointed for a child include reviewing the medical care provided to the child, and in a developmentally appropriate manner, elicit the child’s opinion on the medical care provided. For a child at least 16 years of age, advise the child of the child’s right to request the court to authorize the child to consent to the child’s own medical care.
For a child receiving psychotropic medication, determine whether the child has been provided appropriate psychosocial therapies, behavior strategies, and other non-pharmacological intervention, and has been seen by the prescribing physician, physician assistant, or advanced practice nurse at least once every 90 days.
For a youth taking prescription medication, the department shall ensure that the youth’s transition plan includes provisions to assist the youth in managing the use of the medication and in managing the child’s long-term physical and mental health needs after leaving foster care, including provisions that inform the youth about the use of the medication, the resources that are available to assist the youth in managing the use of the medication, and informed consent and the provision of medical care.
A person may not be authorized to consent to medical care provided to a foster child unless the person has completed a department-approved training program related to informed consent. The training required must include training related to informed consent for the administration of psychotropic medication and the appropriate use of psychosocial therapies, behavior strategies, and other non-pharmacological interventions that should be considered before or concurrently with the administration of psychotropic medications.
Consent to the administration of a psychotropic medication is valid only if the consent is given voluntarily and without undue influence, and the person authorized by law to consent for the foster child receives verbally or in writing information that describes the specific condition to be treated, the beneficial effects on that condition expected from the medication, the probable health and mental health consequences of not consenting to the medication, the probable clinically significant side effects and risks associated with the medication, and the generally accepted alternative medications and non-pharmacological interventions to the medication, if any, and the reasons for the proposed course of treatment.
The department shall notify the child’s parents of the initial prescription of a psychotropic medication to a foster child and of any change in dosage of the psychotropic medication at the first scheduled meeting between the parents and the child’s caseworker after the date the psychotropic medication is prescribed or the dosage is changed.
The person authorized to consent to medical treatment for a foster child prescribed a psychotropic medication shall ensure that the child has been seen by the prescribing physician, physician assistant, or advanced practice nurse at least once every 90 days to allow the physician, physician assistant, or advanced practice nurse to appropriately monitor the side effects of the medication, and determine whether the medication is helping the child achieve the treatment goals, and continued use of the medication is appropriate.
Note the emphasis on Informed Consent. Click here for more information about Informed Consent.
The real problem is that psychiatrists fraudulently diagnose life’s problems as an “illness”, and stigmatize unwanted behavior or study problems as “diseases.” Psychiatry’s stigmatizing labels, programs and treatments are harmful junk science; their diagnoses of “mental disorders” are a hoax — unscientific, fraudulent and harmful. All psychiatric treatments, not just psychiatric drugs, are dangerous.
Contact your own state legislators and suggest that they review this Texas legislation and additional information about Informed Consent so that they may compare it to existing state laws on the matter and provide needed protections for children under state care. In Missouri, visit here to find your legislators.