PRESS RELEASE: State Rep. Ken Wilson Files “Isaiah’s Law” to Empower Parents to Make Health Care Decisions for Their Children
From the Office of
Rep. Ken Wilson
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Jan. 14, 2015
CONTACT: Rep. Ken Wilson
State Rep. Ken Wilson Files “Isaiah’s Law” to Empower
Parents to Make Health Care Decisions for Their Children
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – In an effort to protect the rights of parents to make decisions that best meet the needs of their children, State Rep. Ken Wilson today filed legislation known as “Isaiah’s Law.”
Wilson said the bill is named after Missouri resident, Isaiah Rider, who was taken from his mother at the age of 16 after she sought a second opinion for medical treatment for her son’s chronic illness that caused him to lose a leg and suffer seizures. The action occurred in Illinois after a Cook County juvenile court judge decided Isaiah’s mom was guilty of medical child abuse for seeking alternative opinions rather than continuing treatment with a specialist who she thought was not giving her son the right treatment or medication.
“When I first learned of this story I was deeply disturbed that Michelle Rider had lost her parental rights simply because she was worried that her son wasn’t receiving the right treatment,” said Wilson, R-Smithville. “When parents are providing a loving and caring home, but are condemned by the government for trying to make decisions that best meet the need of their child, we believe the parents decisions should stand. Isaiah’s Law is designed to protect these rights and decisions so that parents can care for their children in the way they think is best.”
Isaiah’s Law would ensure that no parent or legal guardian will be charged with abusing or neglecting a child’s need for medical care if: 1) The parent or legal guardian has sought me dical care for the child from a licensed medical or mental health provider; (2) The licensed medical or mental health provider has made a diagnosis; (3) The licensed medical or mental health provider has prescribed a lawful course of treatment; and (4) The parent or legal guardian is following or willing to follow the recommended course of treatment.
“We want to make sure families don’t have to suffer through this kind of injustice where they lose their parental rights simply because they are seeking better care for their child,” said Wilson. “The events set in motion by the ruling in Illinois led to a family being torn apart, and Isaiah being subjected to abuse while living in a foster home. This is something we cannot allow to happen again to any young person here in Missouri.”
Wilson’s legislation is HB 217.