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 the field of medicine the process of a doctor or healthcare professional informing a patient is called Informed Consent. 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 make an educated choice for their child.

The first thing that a parent needs to 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 to children, which are 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 to 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.

Therefore, if a psychiatrist or doctor says your child has a “mental disorder” and needs to be on “medication” (drugs):

Demand to see the lab tests

If your child is diagnosed with a “mental disorder,” the first thing to do is demand a lab test, brain scan, blood test or X-ray that proves your child has a mental disorder—requiring the administration of a drug to treat it.

Also parents should insist that their child receives a full searching medical (not psychiatric) examination to rule out any valid medical conditions which could be affecting the child's mood or behavior.


ask about drug warnings

If drugs are recommended for your child print off summaries of international drug warnings/studies (links below) on whatever type of drug is being recommended.  Provide this list to the doctor/psychiatrist recommending the drugs so they can see the documented side effects (unfortunately, many doctors get their information on drug safety from Pharmaceutical representatives and are not always up to date on drug regulatory agency warnings).


Antidepressant Drug

anti-anxiety Drug

antipsychotic Drug

Or to find studies and warnings on specific brand name drugs such as Ritalin, Paxil, Adderall, Concerta, Zoloft, Risperdal, simply type in name of the drug in CCHR’s Psychiatric Drug Side Effects Search Engine here>>

forward "evidence" claims to cchr

If the psychiatrist/doctor provides you with what they claim is evidence of a mental disorder forward this claim to CCHR International and we will provide you with the evidence that whatever claim is being made is false.


ask your doctor for alternatives

There are non-harmful, non-drug, medical alternatives to treating children’s problems with mood, attention and behavior that do not require a stigmatizing psychiatric label. Ask your doctor to conduct a full medical examination to rule out any standard medical reasons for problems with mood or behavior. You also have the right to get a second opinion.


Take Steps to protect your Child

Knowledge is power and for parents knowledge can be life-saving when it comes to protecting a child.  Ensure you avail yourself of all the information you need to make educated decisions.  

Also for parents of school children, you can print out and sign the following exemption forms to ensure your child is not given any mental health screening tests without your consent.
Mental Health Screening Exemption Form

Federal Law Prohibits School Personnel from Requiring You to Drug Your Child

CCHR spearheaded a national campaign exposing the fact that parents were being coerced, pressured and often forced to drug their children as a condition of attending school. By working directly with parents and the press this issue was brought before state and federal legislators resulting in the Prohibition on Mandatory Medication Amendment which passed into federal law in 2004. This law prohibits schools from requiring a child take a psychiatric drug as a requisite for attending school. If a teacher or other school employee has concerns about or objects to your child’s behavior or academic performance, they are prevented by this law from pressuring you to put your child on a prescription drug.

Click here for Federal and State laws that you can read and print out as needed.
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