"If the physician presumes to take into consideration in his work whether a life has value or not, the consequences are boundless and the physician becomes the most dangerous man in the state. -DR. CURISTOPH HUPELAND (1762-1836)
I have not been myself since the summer of 2010. More accurately, I have been changed by the events which happened when my son had a crisis. I more fully realized that many things are just not at all how they should be, and that many people do not seem to care that they are not. Crimes were committed in the summer of 2010 which violated my son's civil rights, and when I filed complaints with the appropriate authorities on his behalf no appropriate action was taken. My son was traumatized yet again by unethical "mental health professionals" who are not going to be held legally accounable for committing crimes which caused harm to a person they owe an ethical legal duty to. It is standard for no one to be held accountable when victimizing people with a psychiatric diagnosis. Crimes are not even investigated, at least crimes in which my son was the victim never have been...
Although involuntary treatment commitment proceedings are considered, “civil” as opposed to “criminal,” one should have no doubt that a loss of one’s liberty, the loss of legal and political status without being afforded equal protection under the law, is a violation of one’s Human Rights. The consequences are as detrimental, if not more so, than the consequences for a misdemeanor criminal conviction. For one thing the Court Order can be in effect for the remainder of one’s life. The individual rights protections the law allows a person in a civil commitment proceeding are less than those people charged with crimes can count on. Not unlike a misdemeanor criminal conviction, a Court Order for involuntary treatment alters a person’s legal status and temporarily deprives them of their Liberty. However, in civil commitment proceedings, the person’s lowered status often becomes a permanent legal distinction, and the deprivation of Liberty can also become permanent, through either in- or out-patient commitment.
This begs the question, “Why are different lower "legal" standards used in Involuntary Commitment proceedings?” The Involuntary Treatment statutes deprive people of individual rights protection people charged with felony crimes can take for granted.
1. The “evidence” required to obtain a Court Order to detain, and/or commit a person can consist of nothing more than hearsay, speculation, gossip and innuendo, it is not required to comply with the Rules of Evidence.
2. It is alleged or implied in the proceedings that the person has a “brain disease” or genetic defect which will be corrected, or “medically treated.” No evidence is offered; nor is any evidence to support the claim stated or implied even asked for.
3. Standard Court Procedures are not followed.
4. A person may be appointed an attorney, however, this does not mean that Effective Assistance of Counsel is provided. Not only are the legal, social and political consequences of a Court Order for Involuntary Treatment profound; the medical consequences can be lethal.
The obvious detrimental social, political and legal consequences to the person court ordered to Involuntary Treatment really demands that individuals have equal protection under the law. It is ethically, legally and morally indefensible they are allowed much less. It is a civil rights violation. It is a social policy that has “legalized” discrimination against an entire class of people Under Color of Law. It is inhumane to deprive vulnerable people of equal protection under the law. The attempts to justify this social policy by claiming it is in a victim’s “best interest;” or that it is done “for their own good” are juvenile; all things considered, justifying any of this as beneficent or charitable is incomprehensible; truly despicable really.
Medical professionals in theory, police themselves...Doctors (and perhaps, all professions that "police" themselves) seem to do so very ineffectively. While this is a rather broad generalization, I believe there is more than a grain of truth in it...
Part of learning in life and in medicine requires learning from one's own and one another's mistakes; in effect, bearing one another's burdens as well---this reliance upon one another may inhibit one’s ability or willingness to learn how and when one should act in defense of a vulnerable person, and perhaps play a role in having a person held accountable for an error that caused harm to a vulnerable person. The intent and the purpose of accountability is to ensure people are treated with respect and have ethical medical care to protect patients from quackery and unethical practitioners. Performing the ethical duty of policing one’s colleagues more effectively and consistently, would restore and help to effectively preserve the ethical integrity of the evidence base, and the reputation of the medical profession.
One of the things that I have come to realize, (I have yet to accept it with any grace) is with rare exceptions, basically good people, who were otherwise competent professionals made errors in judgement or behaved in a reckless, abusive or negligent manner when interacting with my son. For the most part, basically decent people harmed my son. Even more looked the other way; failing their ethical duty to my son. It is of no comfort to me to realise it wasn’t malice or ill intent which motivated their actions; truthfully, the fact that it was simply carelessness or ignorance, has caused me no small amount of additional sorrow...
I’m at a loss as how to reconcile what I believed and thought was true about people in general, and mental health professionals in particular, with our experiences. The manner in which we were treated, has made it impossible to reconcile how we were treated with the ethical guidelines for medicine, or the principles of social justice. Societal norms of civility and human decency I believed at one time to be "how things are done;" were nowhere to be found in our trek through the mental illness system. I have spent countless hours doing research looking for answers which could possibly explain any of what happened; and I came across the chapter of a book several weeks ago that offered an explanation of sorts, but is of no comfort at all. I am nonetheless thankful to have found it.
There is no reason for what we experienced. Reason has nothing to do with good people being wilfully blind; in effect, choosing silent complicity. There is no good reason for continuing to employ people who fail to perform required tasks clearly stated in their job description, when their failure is a crime. The system isn't broken---it's the people who are employed in spite of failing to perform a critical part of their jobs as Paid Public Servants. The fact that is, it's a crime for state employees or contracted providers to not refer complaints to Law Enforcement for investigation when required by law to do so; this seems to be conveniently overlooked; rarely (if ever) prosecuted. Probably because the state is ultimately liable for damages.
I am grateful that I was there to bear witness to how my son was used and abused; more grateful that he survived. I am painfully aware others don't survive; then there are the survivors who have no one to validate their pain, some have no one who listens to them at all. No one should have to bear such burdens alone; no one should be without someone who loves them, validates them, believes them and has confidence in them. Someone who will bear witness for them, should they be too traumatized to tell their own story. My son has been silenced by fear and trauma (de)Voiced by his lived experience; he will be 25 day after tomorrow, silenced by fear.
I have no understanding for why a psychiatric diagnosis is used as a justification for treating people as if the diagnosis means they are less than human; less than worthy of their Human Rights being preserved or even defended. In truth, it seems to me that if a person is not as able to protect their legal interests temporarily or permanently for any reason, the person would need special consideration to preserve and defend their fundamental Human Rights. Involuntary Treatment statutes lower the standards and allow a much lower standard with less protection for an individual's Human Rights to be used. How is that even ethically or morally justifiable? I know it isn't. I know it is inhumane, that it is discrimination based on *a real or perceived* disability; making it "legal;" but not in reality, since it is unconstitutional, and violates individual rights Under Color of Law. That it uses the same convoluted ignorant reasoning; the same type propaganda, and the same social control tactics that were used to implement Eugenics as a "public health" and "social services" policy in this country is horrifying---Doesn't anyone in America know any American History? Implementing these kind of "beneficent" social service programs which deprive people of their human dignity, their Human Rights, and their freedom for life Under Color of Law has been done before in the US Eugenics Era and in Germany leading up to WWII.
via the New Existentialists:
Eugenics and Psychiatry: A Brief Overview of the History
a couple of excerpts:
"In my casual observations in conversation with colleagues, I find that very few mental health professionals are aware of the historical link between psychiatry and eugenics."
"Has psychiatry today fully exorcised the demons of it’s past? I think not. Children in poverty, especially those on public welfare and in foster care, are much more likely to be drugged with harmful antipsychotic drugs. I see this kind of psychiatric abuse as an extension of the eugenics project, and it needs to stop. Psychiatry is also still used to perpetuate racism. Today, we still see that black men are misdiagnosed with schizophrenia five times more often than white people. It is easier to label a person with madness and force his compliance with antipsychotic drugs than to endure the difficult job of listening to a man who lived with the darkness of a lifetime of victimization by racism. Until we see such patterns disappear from psychiatry practice, I will remain unconvinced that psychiatry has fully escaped the weight of its shameful eugenic legacy."
-- Brent Dean Robbins here
|available at Amazon|
A SIGN FOR CAIN An Exploration of Human Violence FREDRIC WERTHAM, M.D.Chapter 9 (pdf) http://ow.ly/h5dfY on Leonard Roy Franks website
Eugenics photo credit