Psychiatric Drug Facts via :

“Most psychiatric drugs can cause withdrawal reactions, sometimes including life-threatening emotional and physical withdrawal problems… Withdrawal from psychiatric drugs should be done carefully under experienced clinical supervision.” Dr. Peter Breggin

Oct 12, 2010

My Response to Emergency Detention

August 7, 2010

Statement of Rebecca L. Murphy regarding the proceedings In re the Detention of Isaac Murphy No. 10-6-00439-8 

On July 28, 2010 my son Isaac was accompanied by his brother, Nathan Murphy and myself to the Crisis Center at Central Washington Comprehensive Mental Health.  Isaac was experiencing a crisis and wanted to be hospitalized.  Nathan and I supported Isaac’s desire to be hospitalized.  The following Monday, I found out by accident that Isaac in fact was on an ITA.  I am puzzled as to how this could be.  Isaac wanted to go to the hospital.  Once there he did not try to leave, and he took medication given willingly.  I spent Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday trying to get any information on what the basis of this proceeding was held, to no avail.  The law is pretty clear in citing the criteria which must be met to lawfully obtain a civil commitment order:

RCW 71.05.150 2(a)ii
          “That the person has refused or failed to accept appropriate evaluation and treat-
           ment voluntarily”

The woman we spoke to at the crisis center, Nancy Sherman, I now know perjured herself.  On page 2 of  the Notice and Statement of Rights and Affidavit of Service she claims to have verbally notified me of her intention to seek an emergent involuntary commitment order.  I am further horrified to find the statement she asked me to write was used as an “Affidavit” to support her application for an emergent order for “involuntary” hospitalization.  She also falsely stated that Isaac threw a TV at my head.  In fact, he picked it up and dropped it--its huge awkward and heavy.  This exaggeration of what actually occurred  is unfortunate and unnecessary since Isaac wanted to go to the hospital.

It is fair to say that my sons and I feel betrayed, misled, and disrespected by this entire experience.  I am proud that even in crisis, Isaac was able to recognize he needed help and was willing to seek it.  CWCMH staff were dishonest with my family about the process which was occurring in the back office while we were in the waiting room at the crisis center, and dishonest with the court in the original petition, the subsequent petitions for 14-day “involuntary commitment" and the 90-day LRA.  The 14-day order was obtained August 2, 2010 and Isaac does not have a copy.  On August 4, Isaac’s Assigned Counsel, Jennifer Lemez, would not accept the form Isaac signed granting permission for Nathan and myself to confer with her and to see the court documents.

RCW 71.05.390(3)(a) says he has the right to release this information to anyone he chooses.  Ms. Lemez had no 
trouble taking his signature waiving his rights to a jury trial, independent examination, etc. to court on August 6 although by law this waiver is to be signed 24 hours before the hearing to which it applies.  Ms. Lemez had been informed by both Nathan and myself that Isaac was willing to be hospitalized, and had remained compliant with the care provided.  It is obvious she put on no defense for my son.  The Legislative intent of Involuntary Commitment is outlined in RCW 71.05.010 in part states:
          (1) “To prevent… and to eliminate legal disabilities that arise from such commitment.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        
          ( 3) “To safeguard individual rights;”  

In the Notes on Severability it states, “If any provision of this act or its provision to any person or circumstance is held to be invalid, the remainder of the act or the application of the provision to other persons or circumstance is not affected.”  [1998 c 297 § 58]

The conditions which must be met to court order additional treatment are outlined in RCW 71.05.230

          (2) The person has been advised of the need for voluntary treatment and the      
           professional staff of the facility has evidence that he or she has not in good faith   
           volunteered; and
         (4) The professional staff of the agency or facility or the designated mental health            
           professional has filed a petition for fourteen day involuntary detention or a ninety   
           day less restrictive alternative with the court.  The petition must be signed either    
          (a) Two physicians;
          (b) One physician and a mental health professional;
          (c) Two psychiatric advanced registered nurse practitioners;
          (d) One psychiatric advanced registered nurse practitioner and a mental health 
                 professional; or
           (e) A physician and a psychiatric advanced registered nurse practitioner.

As previously stated, a copy of the 14 day order obtained on Monday, August 2, 2010 has not been provided Isaac.  However, he was released prior to the 14 day order expired.  The 90 day LRA petition was sought by one: Dr. Jeffery Jennings; not the two professionals required by law.  This petition does not meet the standard in two significant ways,  the aforementioned lack of two professionals testifying to the necessity for the order; and Isaac’s willingness to seek and compliance with treatment.  These facts were not argued by his attorney.  The14 day order was only 4 days old when the 90 day LRA was obtained.  This is one way the intent to not violate a person’s civil rights is ensured.  

Three more protections the law defines: appointing the detained a defense attorney, the requirement that the person for whom involuntary commitment orders are sought is refusing treatment, the right of the respondent to an independent examination, and right to a jury trial.  The lack of defense put on by assigned counsel--blatant disregard for the time line and the requirement that 2 professional’s must attest that subsequent orders are 
necessary.   It is indeed frightening how my son’s civil rights were and continue to be so casually violated.

I am indeed grateful he is home and safe.  It is extremely difficult to not take this violation personally.  However, more than one individual has pointed out to me this is how mentally ill people are being “treated” every day.  Two days before this travesty began was the 20th Anniversary of the ADA.  The commitment laws passed in Washington State in recent years are morally repugnant, nor do they conform to the Constitution of the United States.  Indeed these laws are contradictory to the Federal Mental Health Transformation Grant Washington State is now implementing as policy.  They are also contradictory to the Children’s Mental Health Initiative Systems of Care Grant that Yakima County received as part of this National and State wide transformation.  Self Determination: as in the unalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  

To quote the National Council on Disability, 

“Laws that allow the use of involuntary treatments such as forced drugging and inpatient and outpatient commitment should be viewed as inherently suspect, because they are incompatible with the principle of self determination. Public policy needs to move in the direction of a totally voluntary community-based mental health system that safeguards human dignity and respects individual autonomy.”

A person whose attorney does not represent their interests is in effect, without counsel; a court order which is obtained using outright lies told by mental health professionals is illegal. A system which purports to protect the mentally ill by having these hearings secretively is not only misleading itself; it is perpetrating fraud. Thdeputy prosecutor offered the Court what he knew to be questionable "Testimony" he proceeded. My son's assigned counsel if she read his entire file, would have known it was fraud. A gross violation of my son’s civil rights resulted.  He is further stigmatized by now being falsely identified as having refused treatment!  It is truly a devastating experience to be stigmatized by the very “mental health professionals” in whom we placed our misguided trust.  When is Yakima County, GCBH, and DSHS going to hold CWCMH accountable? 

The Medicaid guidelines require that services be client directed.  Why an ambulance, a Judge, a public defender, and a prosecutor, be added expenses to a reportedly under funded system?  The cherry on the cake of this debacle was arriving at Memorial to hear a woman I did not know, say to some people in the waiting area, “he came here willingly, but he was on an involuntary treatment order.”  For a split second, I thought, “holy cow, somebody else?”  So I said to the woman I now know  to be Isaac’s legal advocate, “That’s what happened to my son!”  The woman was immediately red in the face and stuttered something intelligibility.  The lack of ethics this woman has--scary if this is who is to represent those unfortunate enough to need representation in Yakima in “mental health” court.  
Please know this is an accurate account of what happened--forgive any inaccuracies in legal understanding.
Thank You

Becky Murphy

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