Sunny Days in Heaven
Spiritual/Political/Philosophical Blog on the Nature of Truth and Falsehood and Heaven

Friday, November 12, 2004  

. . . and then they came for the children

The Feds want to test all schoolchildren's mental health and make binding recommendations for therapy including drugs on parents.

Doctors Group Opposes Mandatory Mental Health Tests for Kids
Dave Eberhart,
Thursday, Nov. 11, 2004

Under new law being considered, the federal government would require that every child in America undergo psychological screening and receive recommended treatment, including drug therapies.

Next week the Senate re-convenes to consider an omnibus appropriations bill that includes funding for grants to implement mandatory universal mental health screening for almost 60 million children, pregnant women, and adults through schools and pre-schools.

But officials of the respected Association of American Physicians & Surgeons (AAPS) decry what they see as “a dangerous scheme that will heap even more coercive pressure on parents to medicate children with potentially dangerous side effects.”

One of the most “dangerous side effects” from anti-depressants commonly prescribed to children is suicide, regarding which AAPS added, “Further, even the government’s own task force has concluded that mental health screening does little to prevent suicide.”

The bill would fund initiatives of the “New Freedom Commission on Mental Health,” including a program designed to subject every school age child in the country to psychological testing and recommendations for treatment. The House has already voted to appropriate $20 million for the plan, and the Senate will be considering whether to bump it up to $44 million.

Last September, AAPS lifetime member Rep. Ron Paul, M.D., R-Tex., tried to stop the plan by offering an amendment to the Labor, HHS, and Education Appropriations Act for FY 2005. The amendment received 95 “yes” votes, but it failed to pass.

Paul tells NewsMax: “At issue is the fundamental right of parents to decide what medical treatment is appropriate for their children. The notion of federal bureaucrats ordering potentially millions of youngsters to take psychotropic drugs like Ritalin strikes an emotional chord with American parents, who are sick of relinquishing more and more parental control to government.

“Once created, federal programs are nearly impossible to eliminate. Anyone who understands bureaucracies knows they assume more and more power incrementally. A few scattered state programs over time will be replaced by a federal program implemented in a few select cities. Once the limited federal program is accepted, it will be expanded nationwide. Once in place throughout the country, the screening program will become mandatory.

“Soviet communists attempted to paint all opposition to the state as mental illness. It now seems our own federal government wants to create a therapeutic nanny state, beginning with schoolchildren. It’s not hard to imagine a time 20 or 30 years from now when government psychiatrists stigmatize children whose religious, social, or political values do not comport with those of the politically correct, secular state.

“American parents must do everything they can to remain responsible for their children’s well-being. If we allow government to become intimately involved with our children’s minds and bodies, we will have lost the final vestiges of parental authority. Strong families are the last line of defense against an overreaching bureaucratic state.”

“Congressman Paul and several of his colleagues will never give up,” adds an AAPS spokesperson. “He and his colleagues have drafted a letter to Chairman Ralph Regula, chairman of the House Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education Appropriations, asking for his help.”

Okay, now I'm scared.

From a letter the Congressman wrote:

By way of background: in April 2002, President George W. Bush created the New Freedom Commission on Mental Health. Its objective was to enhance mental health services to those in need.

Among other things, the commission concluded that there is a need to search for mental disorders – especially in children – and the best way to do this was with mandatory mental health screening for everyone, starting with preschoolers.

According to the Commission's 2003 report: “Quality screening and early intervention should occur in readily accessible, low-stigma settings, such as primary health care facilities and schools.”

The report goes on to say: “...the extent, severity, and far-reaching consequences make it imperative that our Nation adopt a comprehensive, systemic approach to improving the mental health status of children.”

Despite the criticisms, the White House has remained solid behind the testing initiative, noting that the commission found that schools are in a “key position” to influence the phenomena of young children being “expelled from preschools and childcare facilities for severely disruptive behaviors and emotional disorders.”

But detractors are just as adamant that “problem” children in schools are readily identifiable, making the universal testing an unnecessary tool that does nothing but infringe on a parent’s right to make decisions regarding their child’s welfare.

As I said previously about what not to expect from Bush's next term -- there will be no halt to the decline of our moral rights as people and parents. The Nanny State, new programs, new bureaucrats with "a little brief authority" want to make everyone's life hell with their good intentions.

Bush is not a conservative, people.

posted by Mark Butterworth | 10:26 PM |