Tragic teenager's mother calls for parent consent on presciptions

The grieving mother of a 16-year-old who took her own life weeks after getting anti-anxiety medication from her doctor has called on the Scottish Government to ban GPs from prescribing to young people without parental consent.

Britney Mazzoncini died in July a few weeks after being prescribed a course of powerful anti-­anxiety drugs. Picture: Lisa Ferguson

Britney Mazzoncini, from Glasgow, died in July a few weeks after being prescribed a course of powerful anti-­anxiety drugs.

Her mother, Annette McKenzie, had no idea her daughter was on the Propranolol pills.

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Mrs McKenzie, 35, is convinced her daughter would be alive today had a law been in place forcing the doctor to seek parental consent before prescribing.

She now plans to launch an online petition – supported by her local MP – which she says could prevent similar tragedies in future.

Britney told her GP she was having suicidal thoughts and bad panic attacks when she was given 86 of the 40mg tablets. But 16 days later the teenager was rushed to hospital after overdosing at her home in Hillington on the pills.

Mrs McKenzie said: “I discovered she had reached out to the doctor and told them she was suicidal. Their answer was giving her 86 high-dose pills and telling her to come back in four weeks. Sixteen days later she was dead. Since Britney was 16, we were not aware of her visits to the doctor nor were we allowed to be informed. 
“Our kids as young as 14 can be given these strong meds if the doctor sees fit, without our knowledge or consent.

“We thought our daughter was safe under our roof but there was a danger there we had no idea about. I really believe if I knew Britney had these tablets, she would still be here today.”

Mrs McKenzie said her family had lodged a complaint about the GP which is currently being investigated by the General Medical Council.

She has set up a petition, ­Britney’s Plea, urging the Scottish Government to change the law so that no other family has to go through the same ordeal.

On the petition, Mrs McKenzie wrote: “This was the first I knew of my daughter’s prescription and consultation with her GP, despite the fact she expressed to her GP that she had mental health concerns.

“I was not made aware of this until after my daughter’s death.

“The strength and effect of some mental health medications make it important that parents and guardians are fully involved and aware of the circumstances, allowing them to support treatment and ensure that pathways of care are most appropriate for their children.”

The petition has been backed by Chris Stephens, SNP MP for Glasgow South West.

He said: “Annette’s case is tragic and the loss of a child at such an early age is unbelievably sad.

“I’ve written to the medicines regulator, the MHRA, asking what measures are in place in terms of the regulation of medication, and the dosage, to ensure they are suitable for particular age groups.

“The death of one child in these kinds of circumstances is one too many.”