Washington State Law On Behavioral Care Balances Parental Rights, Teens’ Autonomy

Washington State Law On Behavioral Care Balances Parental Rights, Teens’ Autonomy

When Ben Packard met with the 16-year-old girl a little over a year ago, she was a patient at Seattle Children’s Hospital, where she’d been admitted after trying to kill herself. Her parents were distraught.

“They wanted to know what was going on, and why their kid wanted to die,” said Packard, a mental health therapist on the psychiatric unit who worked with her and her family.

But Washington is one of many states that carved out exceptions to the rights of parents to know about or consent to certain types of care their minor children receive, including mental health and drug and alcohol treatment as well as reproductive health services such as birth control and abortion.

Full story at Kasier Health News