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Sedating Forgotten Children: How Foster Children’s Rights & Health are Abused Through Unnecessary Psychotropic Drugs

37 Pages Posted: 2 Sep 2011  

Matthew M. Cummings

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: September 1, 2011

Abstract

Despite the basic constitutional and human rights involved, the minimal background information and medical records available, and the limited time state actor’s spend with each child, state foster care systems are forcing foster children to take high dosages of dangerous “mind-altering” psychotropic drugs at an unfathomably high rate. Compared to a parent, the state is only allowed to choose to medicate a child with psychotropic medication when it is proven to be necessary and the only way possible to protect the child’s best interests. Additionally, it is very difficult for states to prove that these drugs are necessary, given how mental disorders associated with these drugs are diagnosed, foster children’s backgrounds, and the current condition of state foster care systems. Therefore, when considering these limitations and the potential for state actors to administer these drugs solely as a tool to restrain burdensome children, these high rates cannot possibly be justified. Unfortunately, without in-depth tracking and oversight measures, many states are failing to recognize the problem, thereby allowing this abuse to continue and potentially preventing these helpless foster children from ever seeking justice.

Keywords: Law, Foster Care, Psychotropic Drugs

Suggested Citation

Cummings, Matthew M., Sedating Forgotten Children: How Foster Children’s Rights & Health are Abused Through Unnecessary Psychotropic Drugs (September 1, 2011). Boston College Third World Law Journal, Vol. 1, 2011. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1920987

Matthew M. Cummings (Contact Author)

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

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