Miller v. Board of Psychologist Examiners
Oregon Appellate Reports, 2004; 715-729
Court Decision: 193 Oregon Appellate 715; 2004 June 9 (date of decision). The Oregon Court of Appeals reversed a decision by the Board of Psychologist Examiners reprimanding and fining a psychologist for continuing to treat two minor children after the children's divorced father requested she stop, because the father did not have authority to unilaterally terminate his children's treatment. Miller treated two minor children who were suspected of being sexually abused. After the children's parents divorced, the father sought to cease treatment even though the mother wished to continue it. The court held that therapists may only treat a minor child of divorced parents who have joint custody and mutual authority if the therapist has permission from a legally authorized person, and that the medical decision to terminate therapy is valid if it is a decision on which mother and father consulted and agreed. In this case, Miller obtained permission to treat the children from a legally authorized person, the children's mother, before the divorce. The decision to terminate was not a decision on which the children's mother and father consulted and agreed. Therefore, the father's decision to terminate therapy was a unilateral decision and legally ineffective. Because no authorized person withdrew the mother's original valid permission, the petitioner was allowed to continue therapy in compliance with the law. [KIE/SP]
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