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Citizens Commission on Human Rights Strengthens Campaign to Protect Children from Unjust Involuntary Psychiatric Examination

/EIN News/ -- CLEARWATER, Fla., Nov. 09, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Florida chapter of the Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR), a non-profit mental health watchdog established by the Church of Scientology in 1969 to expose violations in the field of mental health, is asking state legislators to amend the current Baker Act law so that parents are contacted before an involuntary psychiatric examination is initiated on a child.  Encouraged by a change to the mental health law earlier this year that now requires a minor to be examined within 12 hours after arriving at a psychiatric facility during a Baker Act, CCHR Florida has strengthened their campaign to restore parental rights and protect children from unnecessary involuntary examination. 

The original intent of the Baker Act was to ensure patient rights and prevent abuse.  However, the Annual Report of Baker Act Data, revealed in March that 32,475 minors were sent for examination during fiscal year 2015 to 2016.  Currently, in Florida, it is legal for a child to be Baker Acted without notifying a parent until after a child has already been taken into custody under the law.

In an analysis of calls to CCHR Florida by alarmed parents of children who had been Baker Acted, CCHR revealed that 70 percent of these children did not meet the criteria for an involuntary examination and children as young as six years of age are being Baker Acted without parental knowledge.

“It is our opinion that the parent or legal guardian should be contacted for the purpose of obtaining consent for a voluntary examination before Baker Acting a child,” stated Diane Stein, President of CCHR Florida.

CCHR Florida’s campaign to educate parents on their rights includes a form which can be downloaded from the CCHR Florida website at http://www.cchrflorida.org/florida-non-consent-forms/; and a petition to stop the involuntary examination of children without parental knowledge at https://www.ipetitions.com/petition/protect-children-from-baker-act.

For more information, contact CCHR at 727-442-8820 or visit the center at 109 N. Fort Harrison Ave in Clearwater, Florida.

About CCHR: Initially established by the Church of Scientology and renowned psychiatrist Dr. Thomas Szasz in 1969, CCHR’s mission is to eradicate abuses committed under the guise of mental health and enact patient and consumer protections. It was L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of Scientology, who brought the terror of psychiatric imprisonment to the notice of the world.  In March 1969, he said, “Thousands and thousands are seized without process of law, every week, over the ‘free world’ tortured, castrated, killed.  All in the name of ‘mental health.’”  For more information please visit www.cchrflorida.org 

Media Contact:
Diane Stein
President, CCHR Florida
727-442-8820
diane@cchrflorida.org
www.cchrflorida.org