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I know they will not comment over the phone as there is no proof of relationship. Even if you have permission to contact someone on suicide watch,  you have to have a code given to you by the person to even talk to them over the phone. At least that's the way it was when I had a friend on watch. 

 

:grouphug:  :grouphug: How absolutely upsetting. I would be all over the principal as the parents should have been notified where the student was going (not sure on legalities specifically). 

 

The hold itself is a legal requirement, I don't think even a parent can override that. I can think of too many situations where the child might actually be suicidal and parents take them out due to the embarrassment of the situation. 

 

I know my friend learned some coping skills during his stay. 

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Unfortunately, the school counselor was a mandated reporter and called it in to (I would suspect) CPS.  It sounds like either a police officer or the CPS agent authorized the 72 hour hold based on what they saw at the school - leading up to the ride on the ambulance.  I'm sorry to hear this happened.  The parent had to have been so upset.  :grouphug:  

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Unfortunately, the school counselor was a mandated reporter and called it in to (I would suspect) CPS.  It sounds like either a police officer or the CPS agent authorized the 72 hour hold based on what they saw at the school - leading up to the ride on the ambulance.  I'm sorry to hear this happened.  The parent had to have been so upset.  :grouphug:

It's stories like this that make me terrified to ever confide anything in anyone, and the reason I don't trust just about anyone in a position of such authority. I think rules and regulations like this do more harm than good. I simply can not understand why the parents were not notified. That should be illegal and worthy of a lawsuit.

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So, what can parents do to protect their right to access information about their children? Is there some kind of document that children can sign authorizing their parents to access their information? My husband and I were talking about this the other day regarding each other. I know I've filled out questionnaires at doctors' offices giving my husband this right, but is there some kind of universal form, that would be applicable to all medical facilities? And at what age does a child have the right to sign such a document?

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This is the dark side of handing kids over to the system.  I've seen it too, over the years, though thankfully have no personal experience. 

 

It isn't even just schools. Once, many decades ago, my very sane relative was in a funk over yet another failed medical procedure.  She said, quite logically, "It would be easier if I were already dead than having to go through all this just to die anyway."

 

A nurse happened to overhear.  They slapped her in the crazy ward for three days and her parents couldn't get her out either.  And I do mean the CRAZY ward, not just some normal place for observation.  People were screaming and hitting their heads on the wall and all kinds of stuff.    She wasn't remotely in need of this.  She was just venting!  She had nightmares for the rest of her life over this horrible experience. 

 

Stay far away, and teach your kids to be very, very careful what they say and to whom.  No drama allowed to the wrong people. 

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So, what can parents do to protect their right to access information about their children? Is there some kind of document that children can sign authorizing their parents to access their information? My husband and I were talking about this the other day regarding each other. I know I've filled out questionnaires at doctors' offices giving my husband this right, but is there some kind of universal form, that would be applicable to all medical facilities? And at what age does a child have the right to sign such a document?

With a few exceptions parents of minor children are considered "Personal representative", and therefore are privy to a child's health records (with, like I said, a few exceptions). Mental illness is not one of those exceptions. In other words HIPPA does not apply to a child when it comes to their parents.

 

In this case I'd have first called the police to report a kidnapping and then I'd call a lawyer. The hospital will not release info on a mental patient. No exceptions, but I'm d@&n sure if I showed up at the hospital with proof of guardianship they would talk.

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With a few exceptions parents of minor children are considered "Personal representative", and therefore are privy to a child's health records (with, like I said, a few exceptions). Mental illness is not one of those exceptions. In other words HIPPA does not apply to a child when it comes to their parents.

 

In this case I'd have first called the police to report a kidnapping and then I'd call a lawyer. The hospital will not release info on a mental patient. No exceptions, but I'm d@&n sure if I showed up at the hospital with proof of guardianship they would talk.

 

 

I agree.

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In our state, some medical rights are granted as young as fourteen and thus the parent is completely removed.

 

As a child who had extremely domineering parents, I am personally very glad about this. Though it may sound alarming, and the school in the original post handled it very badly, I want my son to feel safe in the presence of his doctor. He would more than likely not disclose addictive or recreational drug use to me - I am his mom. He would more than likely not ask me too many graphic sex questions or admit an STD - because what teen boy asks their parents graphic sex questions. As much as I hope he is never in that place, I for dang sure want him to have someone with a permanent legal responsibility to never tell anyone but who has his best interests in mind. I have extreme trust issues from how I grew up. I do not want any other child on the planet to have to go through muddling out complex adult issues without guidence just because the law would not protect them from their parents.

 

As posted above, the school had no choice if someone claims they are going to hurt themselves. mandated reporting is just that, mandated. However, I have never heard of a school not calling the parents after the 72 hour hold has been put in place. In my experience (and I have been that teacher) the parents are called when the child is placed in either police or medical custody. Again, the custody for 72 hours is nothing anyone can get out of. Kids need to realize that guns, rape, and suicide are not taken lightly by authorities regardless of dramatic teenage moments.

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Though it may sound alarming, and the school in the original post handled it very badly, I want my son to feel safe in the presence of his doctor. He would more than likely not disclose addictive or recreational drug use to me - I am his mom. He would more than likely not ask me too many graphic sex questions or admit an STD - because what teen boy asks their parents graphic sex questions. As much as I hope he is never in that place, I for dang sure want him to have someone with a permanent legal responsibility to never tell anyone but who has his best interests in mind. I have extreme trust issues from how I grew up. I do not want any other child on the planet to have to go through muddling out complex adult issues without guidence just because the law would not protect them from their parents.

 

...

 

Kids need to realize that guns, rape, and suicide are not taken lightly by authorities regardless of dramatic teenage moments.

 

:iagree:  The school definitely handled it badly, but from their side, I've no idea what the student had been telling them about their home life to be honest.  Our school notifies parents when anything happens, but parents can't often change the results whether it's police charges or medical deals.

 

Regarding doctors, I think it's important that teens be able to communicate whatever they want without fear.  I set my own kids up with their own "Ask a Doctor" accounts that our health share offers.  I don't know if they ever used it or not, but I wanted them to be able to if they wanted to and I told there there's no way hubby or I would ever know.

 

And your last statement is important for kids to realize.  If I hear things or see things at school I HAVE to let folks in our guidance office know.  I'll admit that if I absolutely, without a doubt, know they are said in jest, I'll just talk with kids about that and the severity of it... then let guidance know later in the day that was my approach... just in case.  In my experience they don't overreact, but they are quite good at finding needs when they are there.

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It varies by state. The times I have transported a suicidal minor from a school, the school has usually already notified the parents. The parents may not be able to refuse the transport or evaluation but they are notified and generally meet us at the hospital.

 

At 15 she may have medical rights dependent on your state. Also the school cannot commit anyone; they can send her for evaluation and the doctor and psychiatrist apparently felt she was enough of a harm risk that she needed a 72 hour hold. Legally there is nothing that can be done about that once two doctors have signed off.

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With a few exceptions parents of minor children are considered "Personal representative", and therefore are privy to a child's health records (with, like I said, a few exceptions). Mental illness is not one of those exceptions. In other words HIPPA does not apply to a child when it comes to their parents.

Can a child explicitly give rights to the parent, even for mental health issues?

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That is not how HIPPA works, and I find it hard to believe that every. single. hospital and mental health clinic in town does not understand that.  Parents are minor representatives except in very particular situations, and hospitals generally have no problem confirming whether someone is at the hospital (they just will not detail condition, etc.). 

 

That doesn't mean that I think you or even your friend is lying. Here are a few things that might have happened in concert: 

 

*the school counselor was mistaken about their role in HIPPA

 

*then, the daughter requested services and requested privacy 

 

*or, the daugher was in bad enough condition that the hospital could not confirm her identity or whether she requested services and privacy

 

People, even professionals, can and do make mistakes all of the time. I readily acknowledge that. However, for this scenario to occur as the parents understand it, multiple people at multiple locations would have to have no idea how HIPPA works. I lean more towards the daughter being an inaccurate reporter (as far as her general condition at the time, or what she said at first).

 

Teens threatening to hurt or kill themselves is a serious thing. Hopefully, this girl either learned some coping mechanisms that she really needed while under hold, or learned a very hard lesson about melodrama. 

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I also feel like its a very bad idea for parents to assume a threat of suicide is "attention getting" or "to get out of class" or the like.  I know its common to blow kids off but its a bad idea.

 

All suicide threats should be taken seriously for sure, but you don't have to commit every kid that mentions it.  There are other ways to handle it. 

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Can a child explicitly give rights to the parent, even for mental health issues?

 

My children are on state insurance and we were told that  once they are 14 we no longer have a right to see their medical records in our state.  They suggested getting the kids to sign a release of medical information form putting us as on it.  DD has filled out the form as she is getting close to 14. 

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I'm of two minds on this. On the one hand, I wish someone could have intervened and put my friend's son under a 72 hour watch before he committed suicide at 15. In his case, not seeing his parents would probably have been wise. I also know if this had happened to my dd, I would have been frantic. Since being so close to someone who lost a child to suicide, my views on how teen mental health is handled have changed.

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Understandably, no one knows the situation or family involved, but when the comments start attacking the mother, my friend, especially while they are still dealing with it...I wanted to share the story because I didn't know it was legal for the school to commit a child and not be required to tell the parent. It is legal. Apparently the school had authorization to "seek emergency medical care" and that is what they are standing by.

 

And she really did just want to get out of class, not kill herself.

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That is not how HIPPA works, and I find it hard to believe that every. single. hospital and mental health clinic in town does not understand that.  Parents are minor representatives except in very particular situations, and hospitals generally have no problem confirming whether someone is at the hospital (they just will not detail condition, etc.). 

 

That doesn't mean that I think you or even your friend is lying. Here are a few things that might have happened in concert: 

 

*the school counselor was mistaken about their role in HIPPA

 

*then, the daughter requested services and requested privacy 

 

*or, the daugher was in bad enough condition that the hospital could not confirm her identity or whether she requested services and privacy

 

People, even professionals, can and do make mistakes all of the time. I readily acknowledge that. However, for this scenario to occur as the parents understand it, multiple people at multiple locations would have to have no idea how HIPPA works. I lean more towards the daughter being an inaccurate reporter (as far as her general condition at the time, or what she said at first).

 

Teens threatening to hurt or kill themselves is a serious thing. Hopefully, this girl either learned some coping mechanisms that she really needed while under hold, or learned a very hard lesson about melodrama. 

 

What state are you in?

 

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That would never happen in my school district. The phone call after the 911 would be to the parents. But, obviously every district is different. I doubt the school had anything to do with commiting her, that is the hospital/ER's role, and *I think* you have to have a judge's order to commit (but could be wrong). It does not surprise me that the hospitals and clinics she called would not tell her anything over the phone, that is standard. She should have called the police to find out that information if she wasn't getting anywhere with the school.

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I have some experience in this area with a couple family members.    (one frequently engaged in serious drama.  they learned the hard way you don't make manipulative threats of harming self/others to police. unless you want a three-day break in a pscyh ward . . . . )

 

your friend's dd had to have said something to the counselor to confirm her feelings of self-harm.  whether she was being serious, or overly dramatic she could have denied to the teacher, the counselor she felt that way before professionals were ever called.  once they are called, once she confirms feelings of self-harm, the ball is out of her court and beyond her control.  they are legally obligated to treat it as a legitimate threat.

 

this will be a long remembered lesson for the dd.  hopefully, she will learn more appropriate ways of expressing her sadness at a relationship break-up.  (and the embarassment of going to class after breaking up, is nothing in comparision to the embarassment of being hauled off to a pscyh unit in an ambulance.)

 

and yeah - hippa and parental rights with minor children can be very frustrating.  she's not the first, and won't be the last.

 

 

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That would never happen in my school district. The phone call after the 911 would be to the parents. But, obviously every district is different. I doubt the school had anything to do with commiting her, that is the hospital/ER's role, and *I think* you have to have a judge's order to commit (but could be wrong). It does not surprise me that the hospitals and clinics she called would not tell her anything over the phone, that is standard. She should have called the police to find out that information if she wasn't getting anywhere with the school.

 

the girl got a 72 hour hold.  that is not "commitment" per se, and it does NOT require even a dr, but a mental health professional.  aka: a counselor . ..  even a police officer can instigate one.  the caveat is they'd better have a reason.   a 15 yo girl telling a school counselor or police officer she's going to harm herself is *all* the reason they need.  whether she was serious or being a drama queen, they treat it the same.

 

 

I briefly worked in a locked unit.  HIPPA is a federal law and the parents cannot be told about their child's mental health status after the age of 13 WITHOUT the child's consent via a signed document.  no mental health unit is allowed to admit/deny any particular patient is on their unit without a patient's written consent.  

 

 

eta: long term commitment - which does require a judge  - is *extremely* difficult.  

oh - and once she's being held, anything she says about 'being fine' will be dismissed as frustration from someone intent on self-harm being thwarted in their designs.  (and there is a reason for that too.)

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I'm so sorry for your friend - sounds nightmarish.

 

That said, the daughter needs to learn (evidently the hard way) that threats must be taken seriously. My best friend's daughter suffered a bad, public (Facebook) breakup, threatened suicide in a later Facebook post, then came home and tried it (unsuccessfully, thank God.) My friend was furious at the girl's friends who saw the Facebook threat but assumed drama queen and didn't tell any adult.

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the girl got a 72 hour hold.  that is not "commitment" per se, and it does NOT require even a dr, but a mental health professional.  aka: a counselor . ..  even a police officer can instigate one.  the caveat is they'd better have a reason.   a 15 yo girl telling a school counselor or police officer she's going to harm herself is *all* the reason they need.  whether she was serious or being a drama queen, they treat it the same.

 

 

I briefly worked in a locked unit.  HIPPA is a federal law and the parents cannot be told about their child's mental health status after the age of 13 WITHOUT the child's consent via a signed document.  no mental health unit is allowed to admit/deny any particular patient is on their unit without a patient's written consent.  

 

 

eta: long term commitment - which does require a judge  - is *extremely* difficult.  

oh - and once she's being held, anything she says about 'being fine' will be dismissed as frustration from someone intent on self-harm being thwarted in their designs.  (and there is a reason for that too.)

 

It's been awhile since I've worked in ER, but I can't imagine a school counselor having any kind of authority to order even a hold. Wouldn't the ER doctor or someone with admitting privileges need to be the one to order that? My point is that I am doubtful that the school counselor gave the orders for the hold; I think they reacted appropriately by getting her emergency medical attention and is similar to how our district handles these situations (I'm a school nurse). I rarely work in the high school, so I haven't experienced it first hand yet, but I do know our protocol is to keep them in the health office and call 911, which also automatically involves the police. After that, they are in the care of the ER physician or staff psychiatrist.

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It's been awhile since I've worked in ER, but I can't imagine a school counselor having any kind of authority to order even a hold. Wouldn't the ER doctor or someone with admitting privileges need to be the one to order that? My point is that I am doubtful that the school counselor gave the orders for the hold; I think they reacted appropriately by getting her emergency medical attention and is similar to how our district handles these situations (I'm a school nurse). I rarely work in the high school, so I haven't experienced it first hand yet, but I do know our protocol is to keep them in the health office and call 911, which also automatically involves the police. After that, they are in the care of the ER physician or staff psychiatrist.

 

 

The counselor can initiate the paperwork/admin behind a hold. I do it all weekend. ;)

 

There are layers of issues involved in *this* OP.

 

But an important part is that lay persons, parents, teachers, and even Psychiatrists and Counselors can't decide for another person that they are "drama-tizing". We need to take words seriously. Think of the fall out when we don't, and a person DOES harm themselves or others.

In my new job, we get people all the time we believe to be "malingering" for one reason or another. Nonetheless, they say things that require we, ethically, take certain actions.

 

The school counselor taking action to get orders to protect a child is appropriate.

The only problem in the scene in the OP is that the school did not inform the parents. I, too, believe that the other errors piled on top of each other are unlikely.

 

And, just FYI to everyone - It's HIPAA

 

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The counselor can initiate the paperwork/admin behind a hold. I do it all weekend. ;)

 

There are layers of issues involved in *this* OP.

 

But an important part is that lay persons, parents, teachers, and even Psychiatrists and Counselors can't decide for another person that they are "drama-tizing". We need to take words seriously. Think of the fall out when we don't, and a person DOES harm themselves or others.

In my new job, we get people all the time we believe to be "malingering" for one reason or another. Nonetheless, they say things that require we, ethically, take certain actions.

 

The school counselor taking action to get orders to protect a child is appropriate.

The only problem in the scene in the OP is that the school did not inform the parents. I, too, believe that the other errors piled on top of each other are unlikely.

 

And, just FYI to everyone - It's HIPAA

i used to watch I didn't know I was pregnant.   on one, they had a mentally unstable, manipulative resident who was well known for being a drama queen.  so, when she was screaming she was in pain, the staff ignored her - because she was a known manipulator.  but, there was a brand new person on the staff who went in - she was in labor.  (and no, no one knew she was pg. I don't remember all the details.)

 

and my own father suceeded in killing himself, becasue the adult who should have done something, didn't. FOR HOURS.  because 'he was just dramatizing'.  (I have no sympathy for a family member who loves to dramatize. and has, many, many times.  doesn't anymore because doens't like those 72 hour holds.)

 

iow:that's the thing about those crying wolf.  sometimes, there really is a wolf.  and it needs to be taken seriously.  it also really irks me because when there are too many people being 'nothing-but' a drama queen, people treat legitimate concerns as a "drama queen".

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Another thing to remember is that not every facility has unlimited spots for "hold" patients. My friend that was put into the 72 hour hold ended up in a hospital 90 minutes away in another state (same regional area). All other spots were filled at the nearer hospitals that took uninsured patients. 

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I don't really have an issue with the 72 hour hold, so much as I do refusing to tell the parent what was going on, and where she was. If I send my kid to school, and she is taken from the premises...somebody better let me know, and tell me where she is, or cops, lawyers, news, etc would be called. Un. Freaking. Real!

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My children are on state insurance and we were told that  once they are 14 we no longer have a right to see their medical records in our state.  They suggested getting the kids to sign a release of medical information form putting us as on it.  DD has filled out the form as she is getting close to 14.

I need to look into this. My oldest is 14.

 

I find all of this so very frightening. Parents have been diminished in so many ways.

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I find all of this so very frightening. Parents have been diminished in so many ways.

 

I'm not saying it was in this case, but quite honestly, sometimes parents are a big part of the problem.  

 

Since this happens, I suspect the powers that be do what they have to do to determine what's up and it can/will affect those who aren't part of the problem, but it's just for a short period of time.

 

In the cases where the parents are part of the problem, identifying this is crucial.  It's the only way to then work on helping the situation.  If it's just a communication deal, counseling really can help.  It's not always the parents who need to learn to communicate, it can be the kids too.

 

Kids can talk about a bit at school.  We have no idea what the background of this situation - or any situation - was.  Drama is certainly not ruled out, but there are other times when it's more real too.

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I did not see the OP and am coming in a bit blind here, but as a school counselor, we do call things in and do not involve parents, particularly if we feel the parents may be part of the problem.

 

We took every comment about suicide very seriously.  

 

Dawn

 

 

The counselor can initiate the paperwork/admin behind a hold. I do it all weekend. ;)

 

There are layers of issues involved in *this* OP.

 

But an important part is that lay persons, parents, teachers, and even Psychiatrists and Counselors can't decide for another person that they are "drama-tizing". We need to take words seriously. Think of the fall out when we don't, and a person DOES harm themselves or others.

In my new job, we get people all the time we believe to be "malingering" for one reason or another. Nonetheless, they say things that require we, ethically, take certain actions.

 

The school counselor taking action to get orders to protect a child is appropriate.

The only problem in the scene in the OP is that the school did not inform the parents. I, too, believe that the other errors piled on top of each other are unlikely.

 

And, just FYI to everyone - It's HIPAA

 

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I need to look into this. My oldest is 14.

 

I find all of this so very frightening. Parents have been diminished in so many ways.

I have a pretty good feeling I am in the same state as loowit as the name is a Native word here and the age of medical separation is 14 as well. In our state it is not to "diminish" parents. Your rights still stand. Medical and psychiatric professionals still have the obligation of reporting if there is danger to the child or others. What it does is protect your child's right to make their own legal decisions. Access to birth control, abortions, and mental health rights are granted because they are the law and far too often parents infringe on these rights based on their beliefs without allowing the child to decide. It does not diminish the roll of the parent, but to allow the child their own voice in a decision that is ultimate their decision and has nothing to do with the parents. Their body, their choices.

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When a patient signs the HIPAA documents, the following question is asked, which is something to the effect of "if someone calls the hospital, can we tell them you are here?" In a momentof confusion, or if the patient int listening, or for whatever reason, if that box get checked, t he hospital cannot tell anyone the patient is there. I know you folks know this; nevertheless I am compelled to explain. :o

 

I do not know how the laws apply to the school administration and why the school did not tell the parents, but I can imagine how terrifyng and frustrating it was for them. :grouphug:

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What truly baffles me is that as a parent I am required to feed, clothe, house and otherwise care for my children, but they get to make their own legal decisions. I am legally held responsible for what they do on social media, but I have increasingly less rights to tell them what they can and cannot do. They break the law and it comes down on the parents, but the parents hands are tied to do anything about their children's behavior. I don't get it.

 

I really hope that this girl gets the help that she needs.

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I need to look into this. My oldest is 14.

 

I find all of this so very frightening. Parents have been diminished in so many ways.

14 has been the age for some medical autonomy for many years, at least before I was in law school in the late 1990s. There were some interesting cases where a young teen was pregnant. She had the decision-making power over her child, but not her own body. For some reason, 14 became the age to partially have some control. (Our country has odd ages of decision-making, as we charge 13 year olds as adults for murder, but those children can't decide whether to seek medical care or...)

 

HIPAA increased patient privacy, but not the ability for children to make medical decisions. It's not new either. It was enacted in 1996.

 

I would be very concerned about the girl. Threatening suicide to get out of a class is not a normal or appropriate behavior. The school did what it was supposed to do in taking her threat seriously. They bungled not calling the parents. Maybe she asked them not to call? Sounds like a terrifying situation for the girl and her parents. :(

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What truly baffles me is that as a parent I am required to feed, clothe, house and otherwise care for my children, but they get to make their own legal decisions. I am legally held responsible for what they do on social media, but I have increasingly less rights to tell them what they can and cannot do. They break the law and it comes down on the parents, but the parents hands to do anything about their children's behavior. I don't get it.

 

I really hope that this girl gets the help that she needs.

This really bothers me, too.

 

I'm an older mother, and I grew up in a different world, and had I known just how different things would be while I am raising children, I'm not sure I would have had any. Not because I don't love my children and can't imagine living without them now, but because it seems to be a legal minefield to raise them these days.

 

I don't think in many cases that 14, 15 and 16 year olds are capable of making appropriate decisions that might affect them the rest of their lives. Older teens, maybe, but these younger ones have such a great variety in their level of maturity, and I certainly don't think most "professionals" can make a better decision for a child than their parents can. Of course, there are always the exceptions, but most parents try to do what is right for their children, based on their years of knowledge about those children. I don't think laws should be based on the rare wackadoodle parent.

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This really bothers me, too.

 

I'm an older mother, and I grew up in a different world, and had I known just how different things would be while I am raising children, I'm not sure I would have had any. Not because I don't love my children and can't imagine living without them now, but because it seems to be a legal minefield to raise them these days.

 

I don't think in many cases that 14, 15 and 16 year olds are capable of making appropriate decisions that might affect them the rest of their lives. Older teens, maybe, but these younger ones have such a great variety in their level of maturity, and I certainly don't think most "professionals" can make a better decision for a child than their parents can. Of course, there are always the exceptions, but most parents try to do what is right for their children, based on their years of knowledge about those children. I don't think laws should be based on the rare wackadoodle parent.

The law probably hasn't changed that much since you were growing up. Your perception and understanding of it has, but laws typically evolve very slowly. Social media is new, but parents being responsible for their minor child's actions is not. The law is usually behind technological advances because of how slowly it evolves.

 

HIPAA and limited medical autonomy would have existed if you had your children nearly 20 years ago. Suicide prevention is a "hot" topic right now, so the awareness is greater currently and protocol may be more stringent than it was "back in the day," but schools being mandatory reporters is also nothing new.

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So in a case like this, who pays? Some insurances have little mental health coverage & some have preferred providers. Are the parents on the hook for the giant bill even though they didn't consent or even know WHERE the child was for over 24 hours? I would be flaming mad. Even if the parents are part of the problem (not necessarily in this situation) in the school eyes, it is up to the healthcare providers to hash that out & take the steps necessary to protect the child. On our unit, we have cut off family contact when that has been determined.

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So in a case like this, who pays? Some insurances have little mental health coverage & some have preferred providers. Are the parents on the hook for the giant bill even though they didn't consent or even know WHERE the child was for over 24 hours? I would be flaming mad. Even if the parents are part of the problem (not necessarily in this situation) in the school eyes, it is up to the healthcare providers to hash that out & take the steps necessary to protect the child. On our unit, we have cut off family contact when that has been determined.

 

who pays?

The person to whom services were rendered is on the hook for the bill.

 

I learned this over 20 years ago when I was helping someone who had been through some mental health challenges. The person was an adult who had depression. She knew she could not afford a hospital stay, but sought help from her local county health dept. The result was the staff member she saw put her in an involuntary commitment. The woman then lost her low paying job because she didn't go to work for 3 days and she was stuck with a bill from the hospital that went to collections because she couldn't pay. I realize that involuntary commitment is an important tool, but does it really help a person with depression to be thrown deeper into the hole of financial insecurity in the name of treatment. Our health insurance system is really messed up for those who need mental health services.

 

I am only responding to "who pays". The school's handling of this situation and the lack of notice to the parents was wrong, nonetheless I believe the parents would still have to pay just because the system is just screwed up.

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The law probably hasn't changed that much since you were growing up. Your perception and understanding of it has, but laws typically evolve very slowly. Social media is new, but parents being responsible for their minor child's actions is not. The law is usually behind technological advances because of how slowly it evolves.

 

HIPAA and limited medical autonomy would have existed if you had your children nearly 20 years ago. Suicide prevention is a "hot" topic right now, so the awareness is greater currently and protocol may be more stringent than it was "back in the day," but schools being mandatory reporters is also nothing new.

You know, I had to look this up because I was curious. It seems like mandatory reporting got started with the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act of 1974. I was reading this on Wiki, and it's not exactly clear when the first mandated reported started working, but it sounds like it was a gradual implementation after 1974. I was in 5th grade in 1974, so there is a good chance there was not much going on with that where I lived. Heck, spanking in school was still rampant in those days.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mandated_reporter

 

I have a dear friend who is a doctor, and since learning about mandated reporters, I'm always wondering if I should be careful what I say around her, which sucks for me, as she is a dear, dear friend. Perhaps she is only a mandated reporter for her patients? The other woman we hang out with is a lawyer, and it seems lawyers are still required to keep confidentiality. It's not that I'm doing anything wrong, but I've learned recently that it doesn't always matter if you're doing something wrong, it just matters if somebody thinks you are. Whether or not they are a mandatory reported. Think helicopter moms and busybodies.

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