“It’s encouraging that New Mexico is taking its place among a growing list of states taking protective actions on behalf of children and parental rights.”
By Kelly Patricia O’Meara
April 13, 2015
New Mexico took a big step toward protecting children’s and parents’ rights when, last week, Governor Susana Martinez signed into law a bill ensuring that a parent’s decision not to administer psychotropic drugs to a child is not grounds for a child being removed from parental custody by Child Protective Services (CPS).
And the legislation goes deeper. House Bill 53, sponsored by State Rep. Nora Espinoza, also restricts school personnel from taking any action against the parent or compelling or requiring any student to take a psychotropic drug and, further, requires parental written consent prior to any psychological screening.
The Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) applauds these important safeguards for children. For too long parents’ rights have been subjugated by the mental health industry, and children wrongly labeled with mental disorders and drugged with dangerous mind-altering psychotropic drugs. It’s encouraging that New Mexico is taking its place among a growing list of states taking protective actions on behalf of children and parental rights.
In light of the ever-increasing number of children being diagnosed with subjective, non-scientific, mental disorders and prescribed harmful and even deadly psychiatric drugs, lawmakers around the country are beginning to set limits on mental health intrusions both within the home and at schools.
Florida and Colorado both have passed laws providing enhanced rights to parents, including to right to refuse psychiatric testing/screening and/or provide written consent prior to any screening and, further, to prohibit school personnel from recommending the use of psychiatric drugs and/or make it so the refusal of a parent to consent to the administration of a psychiatric drug to their child is not a condition of the child attending school.
Most notably, Florida currently has a bill (HB 209) that directly addresses psychiatry’s diagnosing manual, stating that before a student is evaluated for the purpose of diagnosing the child with any disorder listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), the parent shall be notified of all of the following:
- The behaviors prompting the evaluation could be the result of underlying physical conditions.
- The parent should consider consulting a medical doctor to rule out physical causes.
- The parent has the right to decline the evaluation.
- The evaluation and subsequent classification or placement may be documented on the student’s cumulative record.
Thirteen states, including the recently enacted legislation in New Mexico, have passed legislation addressing parental rights as they pertain to refusing psychiatric drugs, restricting removal of children by CPS based solely on the parent’s refusal to administer psychiatric drugs to a child, and coercion of parents to submit their child to mental health screening.
Five states, including Illinois, Minnesota, Oregon, Texas and Virginia, have passed legislation prohibiting school personnel from recommending the use of psychiatric drugs and/or prohibiting the refusal of a parent to consent to the administration of a psychiatric drug to a child from being a condition of the student attending school.
Additionally, Utah, New Hampshire, Arizona and, now, New Mexico, have enacted legislation protecting parents from having their children removed by CPS based on the grounds of medical neglect for refusing to administer a psychiatric drug to their child.
And, in Michigan, in response to the well-publicized case of the harrowing armed assault against Maryanne Godboldo for refusing to drug her daughter, the Department of Children and Families changed its policy, reflecting the public outcry and stating “CPS is not responsible for investigating complaints that allege parents are failing or refusing to provide their children with psychotropic medication such as Ritalin.”
The fact that nearly six-and-a-half million American children between the ages of 4-17 have been diagnosed with the alleged ADHD and prescribed mind-altering drugs no longer can be ignored. The increase in the ADHD diagnosis from 7.8% in 2003 to 9.5% in 2007 and to 11% in 2011 has not been lost on lawmakers.
That Florida is the first state to specifically address psychiatry’s diagnostic manual is of note and a primer for future legislative action—a first step in initiating a much-needed conversation about the fraudulent, non-scientific diagnosing of America’s children.
Kelly Patricia O’Meara is an award-winning former investigative reporter for the Washington Times’ Insight Magazine, penning dozens of articles exposing the fraud of psychiatric diagnosis and the dangers of the psychiatric drugs—including her ground-breaking 1999 cover story, “Guns & Doses,” exposing the link between psychiatric drugs and acts of senseless violence. She is also the author of the highly acclaimed book, Psyched Out: How Psychiatry Sells Mental Illness and Pushes Pills that Kill. Prior to working as an investigative journalist, O’Meara spent sixteen years on Capitol Hill as a congressional staffer to four Members of Congress. She holds a B.S. in Political Science from the University of Maryland.