HealthLawProf Blog

Editor: Katharine Van Tassel
Creighton University School of Law

Tuesday, March 8, 2005

Pennsylvania Law Gives Parents New Powers Over Kids' Mental Health Care

Monday's Pittsburgh Post-Gazette featured an article about a Pennsylvania law (eff. Jan. 22) that "gives parents more authority to direct their teenage children into inpatient mental health care":

The law allows parents and legal guardians to consent to inpatient treatment recommended by a doctor for children ages 14 to 17, even if the teenagers disagree.

For children in that age group, the law also:

    • Grants parents and guardians, if they consent to a child's treatment, a limited right to release the child's medical records to mental health professionals. The right to release records was formerly reserved to the teenager.
    • Allows teenagers to protest inpatient care approved by a parent or guardian by requesting a court hearing.

Pennsylvania's Act 147 of 2004 is here.  The Juvenile Law Center's summary is here. [tm]

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