CCHR Redoubles Campaign to Protect Children from Unjust Involuntary Examination
The Citizens Commission on Human Rights of Florida has redoubled efforts to restore parental rights and protect children from unnecessary involuntary examination by launching a petition this week demanding that parents be contacted before an involuntary psychiatric examination is initiated on a child.
Clearwater, United States – July 11, 2017 /PressCable/ —
Encouraged by a change to the mental health law that now requires a minor to be examined within 12 hours instead of 72 hours after arriving at a psychiatric facility, the Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) of Florida has redoubled efforts to restore parental rights and protect children from unnecessary involuntary examination.
The Florida chapter of CCHR, a non-profit mental health watchdog working to expose human rights violations in the field of mental health, launched a petition this week demanding that parents be contacted before an involuntary psychiatric examination, commonly referred to as a Baker Act, is initiated on a child.
The Baker Act is the mental health law in Florida and is named after Maxine Baker, the former State Representative from Miami who sponsored the Act, after serving as chairperson of the House Committee on Mental Health. While the original intent of this Act was to ensure patient rights and prevent abuse, the Annual Report of Baker Act Data, revealed in March of this year that 32,475 minors were sent for examination during fiscal year 2015 to 2016.
Alarmed at the large number of children being Baker Acted, CCHR recently completed an analysis of the calls received from parents of children in Florida who had been sent for involuntary examination. This analysis revealed that over 70 percent of these children did not meet the criteria for an involuntary examination yet they were still transported to a psychiatric facility where, until the change in the law, they could be held for up to 72 hours.
“Before sending a child for an involuntary examination the parent or legal guardian should be contacted for the purpose of obtaining consent for a voluntary examination per the existing law,” stated Diane Stein, President of CCHR Florida. “This is not being done and instead the parent finds out after their child has been Baker Acted.”
According to Florida Statutes, one of the criteria that must be met is that a person has refused voluntary examination after conscientious explanation and disclosure of the purpose of the examination, yet this important step is omitted during the Baker Acting of a child.
This violation of human rights is happening to children as young as six years of age who are being Baker Acted without parental knowledge. A BuzzFeed investigative news report titled “HOW A 6-YEAR-OLD GOT LOCKED ON A PSYCH WARD” illustrates the abusive use of the Baker Act and the undermining of parental rights in Florida.
CCHR’s campaign educates parents on their rights while providing them with a form they can fill out and file with their children’s school to help protect their child from an unjust involuntary psychiatric examination. This form uses existing state law to help protect parental rights and can be downloaded on the CCHR Florida website at http://www.cchrflorida.org/florida-non-consent-forms/. Additionally, any person living in Florida who is interested in protecting children from abusive Baker Acting is encouraged to sign a petition to stop the involuntary examination of children without parental knowledge at https://www.ipetitions.com/petition/protect-children-from-baker-act. For more information on this campaign please contact CCHR at 727-442-8820 or visit the center at 109 N. Fort Harrison Ave in Clearwater, Florida.
About CCHR: Initially established by the Church of Scientology and renowned psychiatrist Dr. Thomas Szasz in 1969, CCHR’s mission is to eradicate abuses committed under the guise of mental health and enact patient and consumer protections. It was L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of Scientology, who brought the terror of psychiatric imprisonment to the notice of the world. In March 1969, he said, “Thousands and thousands are seized without process of law, every week, over the ‘free world’ tortured, castrated, killed. All in the name of ‘mental health.’”
 The Baker Act The Florida Mental Health Act Fiscal Year 2015/2016 Annual Report, Released March 2017 – Prepared for the Florida Department of Children and Families by the Baker Act Reporting Center usf.edu/cbcs/baker-act/documents/annual_report.pdf
Name: Diane Stein
Organization: Citizens Commission on Human Rights of Florida
Address: 109 North Fort Harrison Avenue, Clearwater, Florida 33755, United States
For more information, please visit http://www.cchrflorida.org/
Release ID: 216642