When it comes time for a parent or caregiver to make a medical decision for their child, particularly one that carries potential risks, they must have enough information to make an educated, informed decision. In field of medicine the process of a doctor or healthcare professional informing a patient is called Informed Consent and it is imperative both legally and ethically that this process occurs. In general medicine the standard for informed consent includes communicating 1) the nature of the diagnoses, 2) the risks of the proposed treatment, and 3) the available alternative treatments. Given this information a parent can be fully informed and made an educated choice for their child.
The first thing that a parent needs to know know is that informed consent is virtually non existent in the field of mental health diagnosis and treatment.
1) THE DIAGNOSIS— If informed consent was practiced, parents would be told that any diagnosis of "mental disorder" is purely subjective (based on behaviors only) with no scientific/medical validity—no X-rays, brain scans or chemical imbalance tests to prove there is anything physiologically wrong with their child, justifying the administration of mind-altering drugs documented to have severe and even life-threatening side effects.
2) THE RISKS— The psychotropic (mind-altering) drugs being prescribed to children carry more than 409 international drug regulatory warnings. Many of the drugs prescribed children, including ADHD drugs and Anti-anxiety drugs, are documented by the FDA to cause "drug dependence" (addiction) and can rival the withdrawal effects of hardcore street drugs such as heroin and cocaine. If informed consent was practiced, parents would be fully warned of the documented drug risks before agreeing to place their child on a mind-altering psychotropic drug. The same risks would be divulged for electroshock treatment on children, whereby a parent would be told that the FDA has never required electroshock to be proven either safe or effective, that the treatment is documented to cause seizures, heart problems, confusion, memory loss and brain damage.
3) THE ALTERNATIVE TREATMENTS— Keep in mind that children are normally diagnosed with mental disorders without ever having been given a full medical checkup which could rule out valid medical conditions which can manifest as behavioral issues. Parents are rarely informed that many medical conditions can mimic the symptoms of a mental "disorder." This includes lead toxicity, allergies, adrenal dysfunction, and poor diet—to name a few. All children should have what is called a “differential diagnosis,” where a doctor would obtain a thorough medical history and conduct a complete physical exam, ruling out all possible medical problems.