Friday, May 1, 2009

Ron Paul Introduces the Parental Consent Act

SPEECH OF
HON. RON PAUL
OF TEXAS
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
THURSDAY, APRIL 30, 2009


Congressman Ron PaulMadam Speaker, I rise to introduce the Parental Consent Act. This bill forbids Federal funds from being used for any universal or mandatory mental-health screening of students without the express, written, voluntary, informed consent of their parents or legal guardians. This bill protects the fundamental right of parents to direct and control the upbringing and education of their children.

The New Freedom Commission on Mental Health has recommended that the federal and state governments work toward the implementation of a comprehensive system of mental-health screening for all Americans. The commission recommends that universal or mandatory mental-health screening first be implemented in public schools as a prelude to expanding it to the general public. However, neither the commission's report nor any related mental-health screening proposal requires parental consent before a child is subjected to mental-health screening. Federally-funded universal or mandatory mental-health screening in schools without parental consent could lead to labeling more children as "ADD" or "hyperactive" and thus force more children to take psychotropic drugs, such as Ritalin, against their parents' wishes.

Already, too many children are suffering from being prescribed psychotropic drugs for nothing more than children's typical rambunctious behavior. According to Medco Health Solutions, more than 2.2 million children are receiving more than one psychotropic drug at one time. In fact, according to Medico Trends, in 2003, total spending on psychiatric drugs for children exceeded spending on antibiotics or asthma medication.

Many children have suffered harmful side effects from using psychotropic drugs. Some of the possible side effects include mania, violence, dependence, and weight gain. Yet, parents are already being threatened with child abuse charges if they resist efforts to drug their children. Imagine how much easier it will be to drug children against their parents' wishes if a federally-funded mental-health screener makes the recommendation.

Universal or mandatory mental-health screening could also provide a justification for stigmatizing children from families that support traditional values. Even the authors of mental-health diagnosis manuals admit that mental-health diagnoses are subjective and based on social constructions. Therefore, it is all too easy for a psychiatrist to label a person's disagreement with the psychiatrist's political beliefs a mental disorder. For example, a federally-funded school violence prevention program lists "intolerance" as a mental problem that may lead to school violence. Because "intolerance" is often a code word for believing in traditional values, children who share their parents' values could be labeled as having mental problems and a risk of causing violence. If the mandatory mental-health screening program applies to adults, everyone who believes in traditional values could have his or her beliefs stigmatized as a sign of a mental disorder. Taxpayer dollars should not support programs that may label those who adhere to traditional values as having a "mental disorder."

Madam Speaker, universal or mandatory mental-health screening threatens to undermine parents' right to raise their children as the parents see fit. Forced mental-health screening could also endanger the health of children by leading to more children being improperly placed on psychotropic drugs, such as Ritalin, or stigmatized as "mentally ill" or a risk of causing violence because they adhere to traditional values. Congress has a responsibility to the nation's parents and children to stop this from happening. I, therefore, urge my colleagues to cosponsor the Parental Consent Act.

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is excellent and right on. Ron Paul I love you, you are an earth bound angel! Thank you from the bottom of my heart, for our children and their children, this must be. No Teen screen.
Watch Big Pharma wanta pick up the tab!

Anonymous said...

Ron Paul is definitely an earth bound angel and I wish that he was our President! He seems to be the only one in Washington that has any real concern for the average American citizen, and this latest bill that he's introduced is another demonstration of his passion for freedom and civil rights. He's one statesman that hasn't been 'bought' by Big Pharma or special interest groups!

julia said...

Ron Paul is AWESOME! Parents should absolutely have the right to control what screening, testing, interviewing, evaluations, etc. get done on their children. I love the Parental Consent Act and will help in any way that I can to get widespread agreement on this Act.

nick said...

Mental Health screening is an effort by the state and psychiatric profession to define and enforce "acceptable" behavior. It is an unacceptable violation of human rights that unjustly enriches Big Pharma and psychiatrists. Ron Paul is to be commended for introducing the Parental Consent Act

Anonymous said...

Once again I am blown away by RP's keen insight on what really matters to families and individuals. Hats off for another truly vital piece of legislation: a sad commentary on politics is when we have to legislate for freedom of choice. All the more reason to support Mr. Paul and others of like mind.

Anonymous said...

Ron Paul Rocks!!
Ron Paul IS amazing in his insight for sure as to what matters for parents and individuals and he doesn't skip a beat protecting our rights that are stripped from us daily. Sometimes we don't even see it. But he does and what's more when he does, he does something! I am so happy he is where he is, he should be President.
Let's lobby for this bill - we don't need this kind of state control of the mental health of our children.

mark said...

I will give Ron Paul my full support on this! I am very happy to see that America has a leader who protects human rights and can see the outright suppression these pychiatrists, drug companies and politicians are pushing on our innocent children and trusting parents!

Phineas said...

Ron Paul is a jewel in a slag heap of coal. Let's back him fully on this one and help him help us wrest this country out of the grip of international bankers and their paid cronies in psychiatry and pharma...

Diane Klein said...

Ron Paul is a voice of sanity on Earth. We need to support him in every way we can. At this desperate time, our future freedom depends to a great extent on our recognizing and doing something about the truth that Ron Paul speaks.

Diane Klein said...

Ron Paul is a voice of sanity on Earth. We need to support him in every way we can. At this desperate time, our future freedom depends to a great extent on our recognizing and doing something about the truth that Ron Paul speaks.

Beau King said...

Hello Sir, I want to know how I can support this Act. Ron Paul, you are the most sane Senator in congress. Perhaps one of the few sane ones left. The fact that members of the House and of the Senate even CONSIDER bills which go against the basic constitutional and more basically, HUMAN rights of men and women in this county, makes me no less than SICKENED. And anybody who wants to do something about Psychiatry's and Pharma's invasive influence over our nation's children, contact me or any other Member of the Citizens Commission on Human rights.

-Beau King, Member of the Citizens Commission on Human Rights.

BILL said...

I completely agree with all of you here. Yes, we need to stop this once and for all. As a matter of fact, we need to bring the cult of Psychiatry to justice. The entire profession needs to go on trial for crimes against humanity, and rid ourselves once and for all of the barbaric practices of psychiatry.

dave166 said...

This shows why I would have voted for Ron Paul if he had run as an independent. I certainly hope this issue is brought to President Obama's attention-- who I DID vote for and who I hope will justify my confidence.

mzzreyna said...

I agree Labels have a huge impact on our expectations of our children. My step children (ages 9 and 8) where labeled Autistic and had never been educated behaviorally, or academically because of these labels. The parents believed children with Autism were incapable of learning, so their expectations diminished immediately and began to medicate them to control their behavior instead of educating and disciplining them. Until recently when their mother passed away a year and a half ago, I was able to care for them, I was finally able to remove both of them from all of their prescription drugs, I was also able to educate their father and raise the expectations at home and at school. These children have taken a 180 degree turn. The label Autism does not exist in our household and the children behave as expected of my other 9 year old “normal” daughter. It is not fair to children and parents that get their children labeled at such a young age, because they all miss out the opportunity to enjoy their journey in life as a family. Emotions blind us, therefore the people that dictate these labels take advantage of families because they know the families are too emotionally involved to see beyond the label and get desperate to “save” them but end up damaging them horribly with drugs. These labels are self fulfilling prophesies. We need to work together and educate parents and the elite group. Too bad we do not have enough funds like the pharmaceutical industry to buy out our legislators to prevent such laws from forming.

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