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Age Of Consent Outpatient Psychotherapy For Minors

Concerning lowering the age of consent for minors seeking outpatient psychotherapy.
2017 Regular Session
Children & Domestic Matters
Health Care & Health Insurance
Bill Summary

The bill lowers the age of consent from 15 years of age and older to 12 years of age and older for a minor to seek and obtain outpatient psychotherapy services from a licensed mental health professional. The bill allows a minor 10 years of age or older to receive such outpatient psychotherapy services without the consent of his or her parent or guardian. The licensed mental health professional is immune from civil or criminal liability for providing outpatient psychotherapy services unless he or she acts negligently or outside the scope of his or her practice.

The bill adds a provision stating that if a minor who is receiving psychotherapy services without parental notification or consent communicates to the mental health professional a clear and imminent intent or threat to inflict serious bodily harm on himself or herself or others, the mental health professional has a statutory duty to warn and shall immediately notify the minor's parent, parents, legal guardian, or any other person having custody or decision-making responsibility of the minor of such communication.

The bill clarifies that the age of consent for a minor seeking inpatient psychotherapy or other inpatient mental health services without the consent of a parent or legal guardian remains 15 years of age or older.

(Note: This summary applies to the reengrossed version of this bill as introduced in the second house.)




Bill Text

The effective date for bills enacted without a safety clause is August 7, 2024, if the General Assembly adjourns sine die on May 8, 2024, unless otherwise specified. Details