The Petition

Download the PETITION submitted by the Committee to the Chamber of Deputies in 2009.



Addressed to:

President of the Senate
Mr Renato Schifani

President of the Chamber of Deputies
Mr Gianfranco Fini

Minister of Health and social affairs
Mr Maurizio Sacconi

President of the Hygiene and Health Commission of the Senate

President of the Social Affairs Commission of the Chamber of Deputies

President of the Bicameral Commission for Children

Hygiene and Health Commission of the Senate

Social Affairs Commission of the Chamber of Deputies

Bicameral Commission for Children



Petition text:

Distinguished Presidents, Distinguished Minister, Dear Representatives and Senators,

Granted that:

  1. in Italy – as in many other countries – is a lively debate, even within the scientific community as to the appropriateness or otherwise of administering psychiatric drugs to children in order to attempt solving their difficulties, and on the ethical implications of these practices;
  2. the academic community is not unanimous on the appropriateness of administering psychoactive molecules to organisms under development, especially with regard to the adverse and iatrogenic long-term effects;
  3. citizens are particularly concerned about these sensitive issues, as evidenced by the numerous conferences, seminars and meetings organized by the world of associations;
  4. some regions have already taken legislative action – approved, or under discussion – to plan the most appropriate control tools to prevent abuses in the administration of these drugs in pediatric age, and – in view of the special ethical issues related to this delicate matter – also to ensure to families really balanced information on the subject;
  5. at the Social Affairs Commission of the Chamber of Deputies is ongoing discussion and comparative examination of some Bill of parliamentary initiative on regulations for the protection and health of children and adolescents;

all of the above circumstances, I support this petition, to ask you to act in order to provide rapid pulse to parliamentary process of a law that definitively rules the phenomenon of drugging of children, setting up effective anti-abuse rules, and above all that you make sure that this law complies with the following minimum criteria of prudence and safety:


  1. plan the absolute prohibition on administration of drugs to young patients outside the therapeutic indications provided by the same pharmaceutical companies and subject to the respective Ministerial authorizations;


  1. establish the requirement of “black-box” (the black inset with the most important information on side effects) as long ago placed on these medicines in the United States, where, moreover, these drugs are produced. Several psychiatric drugs – particularly antidepressants – are in fact prescribed to children and adolescents outside the circuit of specialized centers, and are then administered by parents at home, without constant medical supervision, and in Italy it is not clear why these prudential rules laid down in the U.S. as mandatory should not be respected;


  1. provide for that informed consent – to be requested given the extreme sensitivity of this kind of treatment, and the implications not only medical but also ethical – is signed not only “in the presence of the specialist” as rightly expected in the Bill currently under discussion, but “from both parents”;


  1. provide for a clear indication of the obligation to comply with a time limit in the administration of these products to minors, in order to prevent an exceptional medical aid becomes instead a  “routine solution”;


  1. expressly provide that the administration of such products be allowed in cases of clearly established severity and provide the structures in charge for the mandatory implementation of non-drug treatment programs as a solution to the forefront, so that the use of the psychotropic drug is a last-resort not just in words but in deeds;


  1. provide for an absolutely mandatory complete medical screening prior to the valuation of the drug, since to date are counted up to two hundred twenty-three pediatric and psychological disorders that can “mimic” the behaviour of minor psychiatric disorders, or who have “symptoms” such as to assume the existence of a psychiatric disorder, but instead they are of issues of pediatric nature;


  1. reiterate in that law – in order to avoid the effect of artificially inducing the use of these products – a ban on development and dissemination of “advertising” or promotional material for the public concerning psychoactive drugs for minors or at least potentially be administered to them, except for the information pack provided to doctors and medical facilities;


  1. provide that the publication of scientific research of any kind must be clearly accompanied by extensive information about personal interests, the consulting assignments, the direct and indirect financial relationships that bind the researchers with the manufacturers of the molecule or therapy which are the target of investigation and other related molecules, in order to inform the public in a transparent way about potential conflicts of interest.



Thank you for your attention that you’ve put into this petition, and trust in one of your active involvement to ensure a peaceful future for all Italian children.


First signatory: Luca Poma (National Spokesman and legal representative of Committee GiùleManidaiBambini NPO (Hands off our children) )
Statistics updated at the end of signatures collection :


- Petitions signed: 10875


- Recipients petition: 105 names


- Total sent forms: 1141875