Parents are not always being given the opportunity to make a fully informed choice when it comes to the welfare of their children, especially when it comes to psychiatry and the ‘treatments’ being suggested.

Being fully informed means having all of the information about various so-called ‘mental disorders’ that psychiatrists claim children are suffering from, it means having all of the information about the effects of psychiatric drugs being prescribed for various ‘disorders,’ as well as knowing and being able to apply their fundamental rights as parents.

There can be no doubt that some parents need help. Whether this is as a result of a school complaining about their child’s behaviour, or the parent observing emotional or educational problems, parents need information that will empower them and help them make the right choices that are in the best interests of their children.

The Government

On the UK Government website, under the heading Parental rights and responsibilities, it states that parents are responsible for “agreeing to the child’s medical treatment.” It is therefore vital that parents are empowered with all of the facts about mental disorders, the facts about psychiatric drug risks, as well as the non-harmful medical alternatives, so that they can make those all-important decisions based on all of the information.

The British Medical Association

A Guidance from the British Medical Association (BMA) has been produced called Parental Responsibility and is more comprehensive. The guidance document includes:

  • What is parental responsibility?
  • Who possesses parental responsibility?
  • Consent from people with parental responsibility
  • What are the limits to parental responsibility?
  • What happens when people with parental responsibility disagree?
  • Some common questions relating to parental responsibility
    • Can a parent who does not live with a child gain access to the child’s medical record?
    • Can a relative other than a parent give consent to medical treatment on behalf of a child?
  • Parental responsibility and Human Rights
  • Competent children and the limits to parental responsibility

What is parental responsibility?

Parental responsibility is a legal concept that consists of the rights, duties, powers, responsibilities and authority that most parents have in respect of their children. It includes the right to give consent to medical treatment, although as is discussed below, this right is not absolute, as well as, in certain circumstances, the freedom to delegate some decision-making responsibility to others. In addition, competent children can consent to diagnosis and treatment on their own behalf if they understand the implications of what is proposed (see below). Those with parental responsibility also have a statutory right to apply for access to the health records of their child, although children who are mature enough to express views on the issue also need to be asked before parents see their record. Parental responsibility is afforded not only to parents, however, and not all parents have parental responsibility, despite arguably having equal moral rights to make decisions for their children where they have been equally involved in their care.

Download: Parental Responsibility

Psychiatric Treatment

Children can experience emotional or behavioural difficulties, but the diagnoses of mental disorders are not the same as the diagnoses of verifiable diseases or medical conditions. There are no genetic tests, brain scans, X-ray or any scientifically proven test to verify mental disorders as diseases that require dangerous drugs to ‘treat’ them.

Parents are not given this information but are simply told their child is mentally ill and more often than not, told to place their child on psychiatric drugs. As an example, parents may be told their child has so-called Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). They may then be steered towards the use of prescribed ADHD drugs, some of which are categorised by the Home office as Class B drugs such as Ritalin, and which are in the same category as amphetamines, barbiturates and cannabis.

Parents should know there are no medical tests that can prove a child is ‘mentally ill.’ They should also know that any diagnosis of mental disorder is based on opinion, a simple checklist of behaviours. Therefore, if a psychiatrist or doctor says your child has a ‘mental disorder’ and needs to be on “medication” (drugs):

1) Demand to see the laboratory test, brain scan, blood test or X-ray that proves your child has a mental disorder that would require drug ‘treatment.’

2) If drugs are recommended for your child, print off the summaries of international drug warnings/studies on whatever type of drug is being recommended and provide this to the doctor/psychiatrist recommending the drugs. Ask if they are aware of the international studies and warnings on these drug risks.

For ADHD Drug Warnings and Studies click here

For Antidepressant Drug Warnings and Studies click here

For Antipsychotic Drug Warnings and Studies click here

For Antianxiety Drug Warnings and Studies click here

Or to find studies and warnings on specific brand name drugs such as Ritalin, Seroxat, Adderall, Concerta, Zoloft, Risperdal, simply type in name of the drug in CCHR’s Psychiatric Drug Side Effects Search Engine.


3) If the psychiatrist/doctor provides you with what they claim is evidence of a ‘mental disorder,’ forward this claim to CCHR UK here.

4) There are non-harmful, non-drug medical alternatives to treating children’s problems with mood, attention and behaviour that do not require stigmatising psychiatric labels (not based on science or medicine but strictly on opinion) or a dangerous drug. You have the right to know about these, and to ask your doctor about non-drug treatments. You also have the right to get a second opinion.