ACTION ALERT: Please Ask Legislators to OPPOSE HB132, Which Gives Minors 12+ the Right to Consent to Mental Health Diagnosis and Treatment

URGENT: We’re asking all members to call and email Delegate Bagnall and members of the Health and Government Operations Committee and let them know why you oppose this bill! There will be a hearing for HB132 before the Health and Government Operations Committee on 2/16/2020 at 1:30 PM. 
 

Delegate Heather Bagnall

Phone 410-841-3406 | 301-858-3406
Toll-free in MD 1-800-492-7122 ext. 3406
e-mail: [email protected]

If you’re a constituent of hers – in District 33 – let her know!

Find your district and representatives here

The most effective emails are not form letters, but rather written in your own words. Even a brief “I oppose this bill, thank you” is effective and will be tallied. Talking points to discuss in your email:

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  • This bill would allow state government to usurp parental authority and supersede individual parental rights. This is fundamentally unconstitutional, grossly invasive, and infinitely dangerous to children and families.

 

  • 12-year-old children are not legally allowed to vote, to smoke, to drive, or consent to any other invasive medical procedure. Children at this age lack the knowledge, experience, confidence, and perspective to understand the implications of mental health treatment, much less give informed consent to receive it.

 

  • Children at this age very likely don’t know the details of their own medical history. It’s inappropriate to place the burden of medical decision making on minors at this age. If this precedent is set, what other medical decisions might the state take away from parents?

 

  • Although this bill does not currently allow children to be medicated without parental consent, children receiving mental health treatment without parental oversight could potentially be saddled with diagnoses which may not be appropriate or accurate, and which confer grave implications throughout their lives. Many diagnoses could track a child into inevitable courses of treatment later on which necessitate prescription medications, some of which are used off-label, and/or surgical interventions which confer irreversible side effects and consequences. It’s dangerous and inappropriate to allow healthcare providers to treat children of this age and assign diagnoses without parental oversight and participation.

 

  • There is no compelling evidence that any children in the state of Maryland are suffering poor outcomes resulting from a lack of mental health services without parental knowledge or consent.

 

  • This bill sets a dangerous precedent for governmental overreach and usurpation of parental rights in other contexts.

 

Please copy and paste the following email addresses of the Health and Government Operations Committee members into the BCC section of your email:

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Please call the offices of the Health and Government Operations Committee members:

Bagnall, Heather 410-841-3406 | 301-858-3406
Barron, Erek L. 410-841-3692 | 301-858-3692
Bhandari, Harry 410-841-3526 | 301-858-3526
Carr, Alfred C., Jr. 410-841-3638 | 301-858-3638
Charles, Nick 410-841-3707 | 301-858-3707
Chisholm, Brian 410-841-3206 | 301-858-3206
Cullison, Bonnie 410-841-3883 | 301-858-3883
Hill, Terri L. 410-841-3378 | 301-858-3378
Johnson, Steve 410-841-3280 | 301-858-3280
Kelly, Ariana B. 410-841-3642 | 301-858-3642
Kerr, Ken 410-841-3240 | 301-858-3240
Kipke, Nicholaus 410-841-3421 | 301-858-3421
Krebs, Susan W. 410-841-3200 | 301-858-3200
Lewis, Robbyn 410-841-3772 | 301-858-3772
Morgan, Matthew 410-841-3170 | 301-858-3170
Pena-Melnyk, Joseline 410-841-3502 | 301-858-3502
Pendergrass, Shane E. 410-841-3139 | 301-858-3139
Reilly, Teresa E. 410-841-3278 | 301-858-3278
Rosenberg, Samuel I. 410-841-3297 | 301-858-3297
Saab, Sid 410-841-3551 | 301-858-3551
Sample-Hughes, Sheree 410-841-3427 | 301-858-3427
Szeliga, Kathy 410-841-3698 | 301-858-3698
Young, Karen Lewis 410-841-3436 | 301-858-3436

Please spread the word! Let’s flood the offices of Delegate Bagnall and the HGO committee members with polite, respectful, forceful emails and phone calls. They need to hear our voices!

*PLEASE NOTE: Rules for submitting written and oral testimony have changed this year due to Covid-19 restrictions, and can be viewed here. We’re asking members for phone calls, emails, and written testimony only at this time.

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