Allow Parents To Protect their Children with Medical Decisions - Enact Makayla’s Law

Allow Parents To Protect their Children with Medical Decisions - Enact Makayla’s Law

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Shannon Doyle started this petition to Virginia Governor and

Makayla’s Law

I am writing this petition to change the laws in Virginia for Mental Healthcare and Drug Abuse Rehabilitation in minors. As the law stands right now that a minor at 14 years of age, cannot be forced to go into a Mental Healthcare facility or a Drug Rehabilitation facility, they must consent to go, and can revoke their consent at any time, resulting in their release from the program.

VIRGINIA MINORS’ LEGAL RIGHTS: RIGHT TO CONSENT TO TREATMENT; ACCESS TO & DISCLOSURE OF CONFIDENTIAL RECORDS OF OUTPATIENT TREATMENT

I. RIGHT TO CONSENT TO TREATMENT:

Virginia Statute § 54.1-2969
. . . E. A minor shall be deemed an adult for the purpose of consenting to:

3. Medical or health services needed in the case of outpatient care, treatment or rehabilitation for substance abuse as defined in § 37.2-100 ; or

4. Medical or health services needed in the case of outpatient care, treatment or rehabilitation for mental illness or emotional disturbance.

§ 16.1-338. Parental admission of minors younger than 14 and nonobjecting minors 14 years of age or older.

A. A minor 14 years of age or older may be admitted to a willing mental health facility for inpatient treatment upon the joint application and consent of the minor and the minor's parent.]

B. Admission of a minor under this section shall be approved by a qualified evaluator who has conducted a personal examination of the minor within 48 hours after admission and has made the following written findings:

3. If the minor is 14 years of age or older, that he has been provided with an explanation of his rights under this Act as they would apply if he were to object to admission, and that he has consented to admission.

D. If the parent who consented to a minor's admission under this section revokes his consent at any time, or if a minor 14 or older objects at any time to further treatment, the minor shall be discharged within 48 hours to the custody of such consenting parent unless the minor's continued hospitalization is authorized pursuant to § 16.1-339, 16.1-340.1, or 16.1-345 . . . If a minor 14 or older objects to further treatment, the mental health facility shall (i) immediately notify the consenting parent of the minor's objections and (ii) provide to the consenting parent a summary, prepared by the Office of the Attorney General, of the procedures for requesting continued treatment of the minor pursuant to § 16.1-339, 16.1-340.1, or 16.1-345.

I want the new law, Makayla’s Law, to make it possible forparents to be able to force their children to get help, whether it be mental health or substance abuse.  As parent or guardians, we are responsible for the safety, security, medical care and best interest of minors.  Minors are still growing and learning, and not able to provide for themselves and make life altering decisions, which is why they are in the care of an adult until the age of 18.  As such, a minor is incapable of fully determining and grasping what is in their best interest and what is not.  They are incapable are seeing the big picture of their decisions and long-term effects of those decisions.  A minor is not able to adequately assess if they need mental healthcare or recognize if they have substance abuse issues.  These are decisions that are life changing and should not be made by a minor.  

Additionally, I would like to legally change how self-harm is defined within the medical industry. Self-harm refers to a person harming his/her own body on purpose. Other terms for self-harm are "self-abuse" or "cutting." Currently, self-harm is specifically related thoughts or attempts of suicide. What fails to be recognized is that untreated mental health and substance abuse is self-harm. The intent to die from either of the conditions is irrelevant, as both can result in death if gone untreated.  Even if either of these conditions does not cause death, there are long-term and short-term effects that can happen, with most bringing harm to the way they think, behave, and react.

In early December of 2021, it was discovered that my 15-year-old-daughter, Makayla, had tried opioids once or twice. I tried having her admitted or put in a program in a mental health facility and substance abuse facility, only to be told that she had to agree to go, to which she did not because she didn’t feel like she had an issue.  There is a lack of resources available in our community for Drug Abuse facilities to even get a teenager into.I am her parent and as such, it is my place to protect her from doing anything that will harm her. Unfortunately, she passed away in January 2022 from a lethal poisoning of Fentanyl, a mere 15 days after her 16th Birthday and a month and a half from when I had been made aware of the drug use. Had I been able to have her admitted or even get her started in a program, she would most likely still be here with us today.

I am creating this petition in the hopes that other families can get the help they need and not have to go through this unrelenting pain. I plan on going through all the channels that are available to make this change happen and with your help, this law will inhibit other teenagers from losing their lives. All it takes is the participation of the people that are looking for this change to occur.

0 have signed. Let’s get to 5,000!
At 5,000 signatures, this petition is more likely to get picked up by local news!