Constitutional Rights: Refusal of Government Forced Antipsychotic Treatment for Special Needs children
If you have lived in the United States for the last 50 or so years, you most likely know that psychotropic medications constitute the bulk of mental health medicine. Unfortunately, this isn’t all good news.
For all the “help” that antipsychotic treatments have claimed on disruptive manifestations of mental disability, they have equally disruptive side effects. To this day, there is a constant debate in the psychiatric profession on the benefits and long-term risks of antipsychotic treatment.
These treatments can be important to the medical treatment of special healthcare needs. However, for children with special needs – as with anything about them – the use of these treatments must be measured and safe for their specific diagnosis.
Attorney Allison Folmar has found that this is not always the case. Too often, these treatments are unnecessarily prescribed to special needs children in the US. Too often, these children suffer at the hands of pharmaceutical companies driven only by profit and a healthcare system riddled with bias and self-aggrandizement.
If you are in a situation where you are being coerced into accepting antipsychotic treatments for your child, Allison Folmar is the lawyer to call. Reach out to her today to understand your rights and options going forward.
Parents have a right to refuse psychotropic treatment for their child
Parents are used to addressing and providing for the well-being of their minor children. Because of this, the state intervenes only if the parents’ decision-making and actions undermine the child’s best interests.
The term “Special needs” itself covers a wide range of physical or mental conditions that necessitate special attention and care for the child.
Parents generally have a constitutional right to make medical decisions for their children. For parents of children with special needs, this means that they can give and withdraw consent to antipsychotic treatment for their child.
In Sombrotto v. Christiana W. 852 N.Y.S.2d 57 (N.Y. App. Div. 2008), a state court in New York affirmed the rights of two parents to stop a hospital from administering antipsychotics to their 14-year old child. The court’s decision was hinged on the failure of the hospital to prove that there were no negative side effects and that the treatment had some long term life-enhancing benefit over the parents’ objection.
Today, more state courts are overturning these government-mandated antipsychotic treatments. Recent decisions like the Godboldo case identify the tendency of these government-mandated programs to have very little support or opportunities for families wishing to try other effective interventions.
What’s more, a large number of these programs are notorious for their disproportionate and discriminatory enforcement patterns in the removal of children from their homes.
Reports are rife about unjustified forcible removals of children from their parents’ homes, unfair and unjustified intrusions into the lives of families, and broad trends of systemic racism in their enforcement patterns. Even on the clinical end, there are often unjustified claims that medications are more effective than other treatment methods.
In reality, the question of whether a treatment will be a better solution, require fewer appointments, less time off work, or overall less energy all depends on the particular circumstances of the child.
How can you be manipulated into approving these treatments in the first place?
When used as part of a comprehensive treatment plan, the right plan can greatly benefit children. Although they cannot cure mental disability, parents are told that antipsychotics help limit oppressive symptoms and allow children to make the best of their treatments and support.
These treatments should only be consented to if it is determined clinically safe for the particular diagnosis. Even then, they should not be used for extended periods of time. It is also vital, to cautiously try to decrease the dose to the lowest effective amount until the child is weaned off it.
In most cases, doctors will prescribe antipsychotics upon diagnosis. Parents easily accept, given the shock at the diagnosis and their trust in their doctors. The problem usually starts when, as soon as parents sign off, they are locked out of the loop on the medications being given to the child.
It is then only a matter of time before the child is prone to the risks of concomitant use, and (in extreme cases) off-label and experimental medications that subject the child to serious side effects.
Medical Kidnapping is a threat to your constitutional rights and those of your child
Attorney Folmar firmly believes that basic civil and human rights permeate every aspect of governmental and private entity obligations to society. We hold sacrosanct the constitutional protections that shield individuals from governmental excess and overreach.
Allison is currently at the forefront of a fight against “medical kidnapping”, which describes a situation where the state allows the forcible removal of children from their parents so as to administer or continue treatments that the parents genuinely believe to harm their child.
Her rise to the forefront came on the heels of her successful retrieval of Maryanne Godboldo’s daughter after she was forcibly removed from their home in Michigan. She had refused to continue administering CPS-prescribed Risperdal (an antipsychotic) to young Ariana.
Risperdal is known to have irreparable side effects including mania, aggression, diabetes, gynecomastia (breast growth) in males, and death in the elderly. According to Maryanne, she decided to stop when she noticed the drug made her daughter unusually aggressive.
Through an illegal order rubber-stamped with a judge’s name who had never read it, CPS tricked Maryanne into giving over her child after a 10-hour standoff. They promised that Ariana would not be taken to a psychiatric facility. Yet, that is exactly where Attorney Folmar found her, confined to a wheelchair. Her mother was then charged in court.
Allison legally gained Ariana’s release from the psychiatric ward and got all the charges against her mother dismissed. In the process, she won parents across the country the right to choose the course of medical treatment for their children. Her victory also resulted in the reform of Michigan state law, making it illegal for Child Protective Services to intervene on the basis of a parent refusing certain mind-altering drugs for their child.
Judges are now also required to personally review the content of Emergency Removal Petitions that are presented to them by CPS before they sign the Order removing the child.
Reach out to Allison today
Neither you, nor your child, should be coerced into accepting antipsychotic treatments that you know cause more harm than good, either by the government or any other entity. You have a right to reject any treatments that will be harmful to your child unless there is clear and convincing evidence that those treatments are safe.
If you, like countless others, have had your children taken away from you, or been charged with a criminal offense or jailed because you refused treatments that hurt your child, call Attorney Allison Folmar to fight for you today!