Family Rights Foundation

Proposed Oregon Legislation: Physician Parent Child Protection Bill

Family Rights Foundation suggests that Oregon lawmakers consider following in the steps of Massachusetts, and their HB900. Medical child abuse is being overidentified within our state, these cases are costly, often taking years to resolve due to complexities, and countless vulnerable families are targeted and destroyed in the process.

Within our Multnomah County population we have less than 800,000 people (1), approximately 150,800 (2) of these individuals are children under the age of 18. Medical Child Abuse occurs at an incidence of 0.5-2 per 100,000 (3). Within Multnomah County we personally know of 8 families that have been accused, and hold no doubt that dozens more exist. Vulnerable Oregon families raising children with special needs should not have to fear our local government. We believe this common sense bill must be passed in order to protect vulnerable Oregon families raising children with special needs.

(a) A parent or legal guardian shall not be charged with abusing or neglecting a child’s need for medical care if:

(i)    the parent or legal guardian has sought medical care for the child from a licensed medical or mental health provider;

(ii)    the licensed medical or mental health provider has made a diagnosis;

(iii)    the licensed medical or mental health provider has prescribed a lawful course of treatment; and

(iv)    the parent or legal guardian is following or willing to follow the recommended course of treatment.

(b) No mandatory reporter, shall file a report of abuse or neglect based solely on a parent’s or legal guardian’s decision to follow the recommended treatment of a licensed medical or mental health provider. A parent or legal guardian has the right to follow the advice and treatment plan of a licensed medical or mental health provider over a contrary opinion or recommended treatment plan of another licensed medical or mental health provider when the decision does not involve immediate life-threatening conditions. Even in the case of life-threatening conditions, the decision of the parent or legal guardian to follow the advice or treatment plan of a licensed medical or mental health provider shall not be overridden unless there is clear and convincing evidence to the contrary.

1: Total Population, US Census

2: Child Population in Multnomah County

3: Medical Child Abuse, American Academy of Pediatrics