Act 65 Signed into Law, Clarifies Consent Issues Related to Consent to Mental Health Treatment of a Minor (July 30, 2020)

Act 65 of 2020 has been signed into law by Governor Tom Wolf. The new law clarifies that a parent/guardian has the right to consent to in-patient and/or out-patient mental health treatment on behalf of a minor under the age of 18 without the minor’s consent. The law also prohibits a parent/guardian from overturning another parent/guardian’s consent on the minor’s behalf. However, if one of the parents/guardians with legal custody rights objects to in-patient treatment sought by the other parent/guardian, a court petition can be filed and a hearing held within 72 hours.

The law also avers that a minor placed in mental health treatment will be advised of his/her right to appeal such placement and continues the provision of Act 147 of 2004 that allows minors age 14 and older to consent to treatment without the consent of their parent/guardian. It also avers that a parent/guardian will unable to revoke consent to treatment given by the minor.