Child maltreatment scrutiny has increased with the expanded use of psychotropic drugs on kids of all ages (even infants). Lawsuits against child psychiatrists occur with some frequency, and most everyone has heard of at least one tragedy resulting from the use of these damaging drugs on children and even pregnant women. Child maltreatment is not too harsh a word to describe this carnage of our young.

Perhaps to soften the truth of their abuse, the American Association of Pediatrics has introduced the concept of child assent to treatment.

According to the AAP, there is no child maltreatment because assent by the child would be given. This would include:

  1. “Helping the patient achieve a developmentally appropriate awareness of the nature of his or her condition.
  2. Telling the patient what he or she can expect with tests and treatment(s).”

One wonders if the mental health practitioners eager to give small children prescriptions for dangerous psychotropic drugs have that child’s best interests at heart. A very young child is deeply influenced by the adults in his vicinity, and he or she depends on them for help and guidance.

By the very nature of this trust, most children believe an adult would not intentionally harm him or her.

The idea of child consent is a “clever” way to relinquish responsibility for this child maltreatment. Making a youngster responsible for questionable treatment by explaining to him the risks and benefits, then having him give his consent may help unethical health care workers sleep better at night, but it does not alter the potential danger to that child.

An older child or teenager, given access to full research results on the damage done by these drugs may able to refuse treatment. However, it’s a bit difficult to believe the vested interests of prescribers would let a potential customer go so easily.

The Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare Child and Adolescent Psychotropic Medication Workgroup Report from last January delves into this.

The 2012 report indicates that with children age 0-5 the primary reliance is on parents and legal guardians to participate with the prescriber. Kids aged 5-10 are expected to be more active than preschoolers in this area, but the primary responsibility is still with caregivers. But children age 10-14, although not legally old enough to give formal consent to use of psychotropic drugs, are old enough to “participate in discussions, ask questions, and offer meaningful opinions.”

Here is a quote on this matter:

“A youth under age 14 who is informed about and agrees to use specific psychotropic medication is considered to have offered his or her ‘assent.’ Obtaining assent from a youth under 14, while not a legal requirement, is considered part of best practice, so long as formal consent is also obtained from the parent or legal guardian, or from the court in instances where there has been a transfer of legal custody to a county children and youth agency.”

The actual insanity lies within a mental health profession so uncaring it inflicts permanent damage on the minds and bodies of our children.

This child maltreatment is overlooked at the peril of forfeiting a bright future for our youth and our nation. The harmful prescribing of psychotropic drugs to innocent children is a tragedy and should be considered a crime.