WBAL: State senator concerned about bill that would lower age of consent for mental health treatment

An Eastern Shore state senator expressed concerns Friday about a bill that would lower the age of consent for mental health treatment from 16 to 12.

The bill passed the Senate during Friday's floor session but Sen. Mary Beth Carozza told Yuripzy Morgan she wants to keep the bill from passing the House if she can.

Listen Here

Carozza said 12-year-olds are "not mature enough to safely make those decisions."

She said she would be amenable to lowering the age to 14 but only if strict protections are in place.

Carozza spoke to a nephew who is a school psychologist as well as parents concerned by the bill. She listened back to committee testimony from medical experts.

"Children are extremely impressionable and may feel pressured to consent," Carozza said.

She noted that diagnoses of mental health conditions could, in some cases, seal off future career options like military service.

The bill passed the Senate in a nearly party-line vote. A House committee reviewing the bill held its hearing Tuesday.

Mary Beth Carozza for State Senate