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  1. #1
    Seattle1 is offline Junior Member
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    A parent's rights to prevent medicating child

    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? Washington State

    If my spouse wants to medicate my 5-year old for ADHD and I do not, what legal rights do I have to prevent my spouse from medicating my 5-year old?
    Last edited by Seattle1; 05-21-2010 at 11:05 PM. Reason: typo
  2. #2
    justalayman is offline Senior Member
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    do you still live as a family?
  3. #3
    Seattle1 is offline Junior Member
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    Good question. Yes, we still live together as a family. No need for warm fuzzies.
  4. #4
    Proserpina is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seattle1 View Post
    Good question. Yes, we still live together as a family. No need for warm fuzzies.


    That would be a signature line. It's not aimed at anyone in particular.
  5. #5
    PQN
    PQN is offline Member
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    Have you tried to sit down with your spouse, the doctor and the child's teacher and see if a compromise can be reached? Are there other things you want to try first? Or would you be willing to a trial of meds to see if it helps if your spouse would agree that if they don't work, they will be stopped after 30 days or so?

    Legally,you would likely have to go to court to get an injunction prohibiing your spouse from medicating your child. If your spouse has extensive documentation from teachers, doctors, etc, you may not win.
  6. #6
    happybug is offline Member
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    Although, as the child is 5, I would guess spouse doesn't have extensive documentation. The child would have to be in Pre-school or Kinder. Who is pushing the idea of medication? Is this a medical recommendation from the MD? Did the teacher suggest this? It does seem a bit drastic for a 5 year old. Children that age don't have long attention spans to begin with and they develop at different rates. Has your child been diagnosed by an M.D.?
  7. #7
    PQN
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    Quote Originally Posted by happybug View Post
    Although, as the child is 5, I would guess spouse doesn't have extensive documentation. The child would have to be in Pre-school or Kinder. Who is pushing the idea of medication? Is this a medical recommendation from the MD? Did the teacher suggest this? It does seem a bit drastic for a 5 year old. Children that age don't have long attention spans to begin with and they develop at different rates. Has your child been diagnosed by an M.D.?
    By 5, some children have inch thick files of documentation. Yes, 5-year olds are not know for their attention span but even at 5, a child with severe ADHD will be very different from a typical high energy child. A child with minimal impulse control can be a danger to themselves and others.

    While one spouse has the right to not medicate their child, the other spouse has the right to medicate, they either need to negotiate this themselves or go to court - and that is not going to be very healthy on the marriage.
  8. #8
    Blue Meanie is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by PQN View Post
    By 5, some children have inch thick files of documentation. Yes, 5-year olds are not know for their attention span but even at 5, a child with severe ADHD will be very different from a typical high energy child. A child with minimal impulse control can be a danger to themselves and others.

    While one spouse has the right to not medicate their child, the other spouse has the right to medicate, they either need to negotiate this themselves or go to court - and that is not going to be very healthy on the marriage.
    While I don't disagree with you, I would be very curious to know the testing procedures done for this Dx...Was Neuropsychological testing administered? A PEDI-Neurologist consulted? Or just the PCP for the child's Dx'ing?

    As a parent this would be the difference between medicating my child and being reticent.
  9. #9
    ecmst12 is offline Senior Member
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    I believe in medication for a child that needs it, but even I would be reluctant to diagnose and medicate a child under 7.
  10. #10
    scarlet6 is offline Junior Member
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    I feel the same way. In my years of experience thus far in working with developmentally challenged young ones, ADHD has unfortunately become a label to place on children who just need more one-on-one attention to meet their needs-not medication. I am seeing more and more now, teachers who are so quick to diagnose, rather than getting to the root of the problems. The types of behaviors presented in supposed ADHD children are "learned behaviors" (from children and parents) which can be remedied. Time and therapy for children is a wonderful alternative, and is usually all they need. I see only short term benefits in giving children meds. And only causing more dependency issues later on in their lives.
  11. #11
    Blue Meanie is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by scarlet6 View Post
    I feel the same way. In my years of experience thus far in working with developmentally challenged young ones, ADHD has unfortunately become a label to place on children who just need more one-on-one attention to meet their needs-not medication. I am seeing more and more now, teachers who are so quick to diagnose, rather than getting to the root of the problems. The types of behaviors presented in supposed ADHD children are "learned behaviors" (from children and parents) which can be remedied. Time and therapy for children is a wonderful alternative, and is usually all they need. I see only short term benefits in giving children meds. And only causing more dependency issues later on in their lives.
    But really...Before anyone can help the OP he needs to clarify his post.
  12. #12
    Seattle1 is offline Junior Member
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    We are halfway through getting independent diagnoses from two specialists: a Developmental Pediatrician (MD) and a Pediatric Neuro Psychiatrist (PhD). Both parents have been very active in working through the problem including counseling; there is a history here and both sides can be argued on what to do next. I'm seeking legal advice on my rights to prevent medication, not an opinion on whether it's right to medicate or whether ADHD exists. Perhaps it might be simpler to ask, in which area of law should I find the appropriate lawyer to provide legal advice? Is this family law or medical law?
  13. #13
    LdiJ is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seattle1 View Post
    We are halfway through getting independent diagnoses from two specialists: a Developmental Pediatrician (MD) and a Pediatric Neuro Psychiatrist (PhD). Both parents have been very active in working through the problem including counseling; there is a history here and both sides can be argued on what to do next. I'm seeking legal advice on my rights to prevent medication, not an opinion on whether it's right to medicate or whether ADHD exists. Perhaps it might be simpler to ask, in which area of law should I find the appropriate lawyer to provide legal advice? Is this family law or medical law?
    Are you saying that you want to prevent the child from being medicated no matter what the diagnosis ends up being?

    Are you willing to possibly destroy your marriage over this? Because I can see you potentially being headed in that direction.

    If you end up divorced, then it will be up to the judge to decide who gets to make medical decisions and ultimately, whether or not your child will be medicated.

    My niece is ADHD. My sister and her husband tried for quite a long time to control her disease with diet and therapy and ultimately had to end up making the choice to medicate her. It has proven to be a wise decision as now she is excelling in school and her part time job (she is 16 now).
  14. #14
    nextwife is offline Senior Member
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    It is a misunderstanding of what ADHD is to think that attention span alone is ADHD. There are a number of symptoms that can run as extreme as echoing possible bipolar. ADHD kids exhibit a number of behaviors, including ability to focus or hyperfocus.

    My child was diagnosed ADHD at 5. after being misdiagnosed at 4. Yes, they can need meds at only 5. In her case, there was a broad spectrum of orphanage behaviors sprinkled in to further complicate diagnosis.

    Anyway, kiddo really struggled in the first half of K5 (she had already started out delayed) before we started the ADHD meds. Once medicated, she was able to focus, shut out more distractions, and really LEARN. She learned in 5 weeks what she hadn't learned the whole first half of the year. It was NOT an issue of discipline, attention from teachers or parents. The only change was being "on meds". Had we been stubborn and failed to properly treat her, she would have fallen further and further behind, would have suffered self esteem issues and started believing she was "stupid" for not being able to do what the other kids could do. She is now in a top school, 7th grade, and performing at grade level even though she started with a two year delay, due to her orphanage beginnings.

    My point is that there is NO way she'd be the confident, accomplished young lady that she is if we had witheld needed medications from her. It is night and day for her being on meds.

    Please reconsider your objection and ask yourself if it is founded in myth or fact.
    Last edited by nextwife; 05-23-2010 at 01:44 PM.
  15. #15
    frylover is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by LdiJ View Post
    Are you saying that you want to prevent the child from being medicated no matter what the diagnosis ends up being?

    Are you willing to possibly destroy your marriage over this? Because I can see you potentially being headed in that direction.

    If you end up divorced, then it will be up to the judge to decide who gets to make medical decisions and ultimately, whether or not your child will be medicated.

    My niece is ADHD. My sister and her husband tried for quite a long time to control her disease with diet and therapy and ultimately had to end up making the choice to medicate her. It has proven to be a wise decision as now she is excelling in school and her part time job (she is 16 now).
    All I could think when I read this post was that if things are so contentious between these parents when it comes to making a decision for their child while they are still married, it's gonna be a long 13 years after the divorce.

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