KASIE'S LAW - Power to parents over mentally ill children's refusal of medical care

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PLEASE SUPPORT KASIE’S LAW, IN MEMORY OF MY DAUGHTER KASIE DEL OTERO
My 16-year old daughter, Kasie Del Otero of Franklin Lakes, NJ died on Sunday 4/29/2018 at around 5:30am. She committed suicide by stepping in front of a NJ Transit train. Kasie was a beautiful, funny, smart teenager who was a great daughter, sister and friend to everyone who knew her. We lost her after battling with depression and bulimia the last 2 years of her short life. We could have saved her from herself if the current patient consent laws and psychiatric care program allowed
parents to override children’s right to refuse treatment, and forced treatment centers to care for patients in need. I also feel that the emergency room should have done better as they seemed incapable to handle psychiatric patients. I feel that real change is needed to better help children like Kasie and their families. The laws and medical protocols must change to empower the parents of children whose
decision-making ability is compromised in any way, shape or form.

Proposed New legislation (“KASIE’S LAW”) is needed to:

1) Empower parents/guardians with right to overrule decision-making of their dependents for conditions/pre-existing conditions where their decision-making capacity is compromised, like mental illnesses like depression or eating disorders.

2) Treatment centers currently can deny depression and eating disorder patients the treatment they need unless patients are willing participants. This must change. These patients need to be treated.

3) Psychiatrists should be consulted at all times!! My own daughter was at the emergency room a week before she took her life. I was forced to call 911 and be taken by ambulance because she would not go willingly. However, only her immediate physical needs were treated and then was referred to a social worker. Even with her long 2-year history (SUICIDE ATTEMPT, TREATMENT CENTERS, DEPRESSION, EATING DISORDER AND OFF MEDICATION) IT WAS OPTIONAL
TO CONSULT A PSYCHIATRIST IN EMERGENCY ROOM. IT WAS ALSO OPTIONAL TO CONSULT WITH ANY/ALL OF HER TREATING DOCTORS PRIOR TO HER RELEASE. Would they have done the same for a cancer or a heart patient?

I would appreciate if you could find the time to support Kasie’s Law to empower parents to save their children. We need to protect children with mental illnesses and their families. Please call your members of congress and the white house to enact this law now, and share this message with as many folks as possible.

Thank you,
Tom Del Otero, Kasie's Dad

INFORMATION I WISHED I HAD KNOWN BEFORE

Source: American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

Suicide
• In 2015 (latest available data), there were 44,193 reported suicide deaths in the U.S.
• Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death for those between the ages of 15 and 34 in the United States.
• Currently, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States.
• A person dies by suicide about every 12.8 minutes in the United States.
• Every day, approximately 121 Americans take their own life.
• Ninety percent of all people who die by suicide have a diagnosable psychiatric disorder at the time of their death.
• There are four male suicides for every female suicide, but three times as many females as males attempt suicide.
• 494,169 people visited a hospital for injuries due to self-harm behavior, suggesting that approximately 12 people harm themselves (not necessarily intending to take their lives) for every reported death by suicide.

Depression
• 25 million Americans suffer from depression each year.
• Over 50 percent of all people who die by suicide suffer from major depression. If one includes alcoholics who are depressed, this figure rises to over 75 percent.
• Depression affects nearly 5-8 percent of Americans ages 18 and over in a given year.
• More Americans suffer from depression than coronary heart disease, cancer, and HIV/AIDS.
• Depression is among the most treatable of psychiatric illnesses. Between 80 percent and 90 percent of people with depression respond positively to treatment, and almost all patients gain some relief from their symptoms.But first, depression has to be recognized.
• The best way to prevent suicide is through early detection, diagnosis, and treatment of depression and other mood disorders.

Learn more at www.afsp.org or call 888-333-AFSP.

Figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Data & Statistics Fatal Injury Report for 2015 (Source: www.Youth.gov
• Suicide is the second leading cause of death among youth age 15-24.
• Approximately one out of every 15 high school students reports attempting suicide each year.
• One out of every 53 high school students reports having made a suicide attempt that was serious enough to be treated by a doctor or a nurse.
• For each suicide death among young people, there may be as many as 100 to 200 suicide attempts.
• For some groups of youth—including those who are involved in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems; lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender; American Indian/Alaska Native; and military service members—the incidence of suicidal behavior is even higher.

Current useful state laws in some situations:
- Casey’s Law – Court process in some states to force patients to commit patients suffering from drug abuse (too
slow for patients like Kasie).
- Baker Act (Florida) - Forces a max. of 72 hour evaluation for any patient whose decision making capacity may be
compromised. A good first step, but falls short from what’s needed for patients like Kasie

Very good article on Depression: “Why people kill themselves”, by Dr. Mark Goulston: 

https://medium.com/@mgoulston/why-people-kill-themselves-its-not-depression-44113406ac79



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