Tag: parental rights

Disclosure of Medical Information

States have their own specific laws defining when medical information can be released. In the usual case, written consent of the patient is required. For a minor, the written consent of the parent or guardian may be required. The state in which you live may limit a parent's right to access his minor child's mental health records. In some states, a parent is not entitled to inspect or obtain copies of a minor's patient records if the minor is authorized by law to consent to his own medical treatment.


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Consent for Treatment

Parents and legal guardians generally have the right — as long as they are not acting irresponsibly — to give consent for their minor child's medical treatment. In some cases, preteen and teen children are asked or required to give their "assent" to medical treatment. This is a lesser standard than informed consent; it indicates simply that they have been told about the treatment and agree to it.  "Informed consent" is a legal term referring to the right of individuals to make medical decisions only after full disclosure of relevant information.

Allegations of Abuse

Children with bipolar illness can, and often do have episodes of aggressive outbursts or hypersexual behavior that are symptomatic of the illness.  Fortunately, these symptoms usually respond to proper medical treatment. Due to the child's sometimes alarming behavior, teachers, babysitters, social workers, well-meaning acquaintances and other adults who are not familiar with the disorder may suspect the child has been the victim of abuse.  Therefore, they may feel compelled to report parents to authorities for investigation.

Child Custody Issues

Custody issues can play a major role in determining a child's treatment for bipolar disorder. It's important to know your child's rights and your own rights as a parent, as both could be placed in jeopardy in cases of extreme financial need or divorce.

Relinquishing custody to the state

When parents cannot afford the costs of extended hospitalizations or residential treatment for their child, they may be told they must give up custody of their child to the state's child welfare or juvenile justice agency in order for their child to receive the needed treatment.


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Legal Issues of Pediatric Bipolar Disorder

  • Overview
  • Health insurance
  • Child custody
  • Allegations of abuse
  • The juvenile justice system
  • Consent for treatment
  • Disclosure of medical information
  • Finding attorneys and advocates
  • Legal Resources and Links
  • Suggestions for Workers in the Juvenile Justice System


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