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

Jan 15, 2013

Washington State's Involuntary Treatment Act legalized discrimination and Civil Rights violations

This post is in response to an OP-Ed in the Seattle Times written by Walt Stawicki which was published January 5, 2013 

No one is free when others are oppressed.

Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves.  
~Abraham Lincoln

I believe we must speak our conscience in moments that demand it, 
even if we are but one voice.
~Richard B. Sanders

Op-ed: Mental illness and violence — what must change in Washington state

We’re in denial about the connection between mental illness and the shootings at the school in Newtown, Conn., the movie theater in Aurora, Colo., and Cafe Racer in Seattle, writes guest columnist Walt Stawicki 
"We’re in denial about the connection between mental illness and the shootings at the school in Newtown, Conn., the movie theater in Aurora, Colo., and Cafe Racer in Seattle. These statistics suggest that half or two-thirds of spree shooters were often formally diagnosed, formerly hospitalized, or had shown rage, aggression, paranoia and/or delusional thinking.

"If half to two-thirds does not suggest a pattern, what can? Would it be suggested by the extensive statements of family members who lived with the emergent dangers?" read here

All due respect to Mr. Stawicki, who is seeking to help other families, the perspectives and the needs of family members who are concerned about a loved one with mental illness, are valid and important, but are not necessarily the perspective from which a rational response to tragedy will come. The sense of social responsibility that Mr. Stawicki has is admirable.  That said, I find it troubling that this OP-Ed was published in the State of Washington's largest newspaper with no source given for the "facts" it contains. Mr. Stawicki flatly declares that the criteria to have a person civilly committed is too strict, and needs to be loosened up; because he says, that's what families have told him. I suspect, that his opinion is offered at least in part because Mr. Stawicki was sought out, "informed" and encouraged to advocate by DJ Jaffe; a forced treatment proponent who lives in New York State. 

Mr. Stawicki, by his own admission, has no experience with the mental health system, no history of unsuccessful attempts to access mental health services for his son. In light of this lack of experience, it is troubling that he states,  "In most cases, families see something coming. Even though we may be afraid of what our loved ones may do, we have learned that the system is not going to help until it’s time for ambulances and body bags.

Mr. Stawicki did not cite any sources for the "statistics" he used in his editorial, and has no personal experience to base his belief that "the system is not going to help until ambulances and body bags are needed" on.  This statement and Mr. Stawicki quoting DJ Jaffe making the outrageous claim that, "There are ways to know which mentally ill individuals become or are likely to become violent," undermines his credibility as an advocate. This quote is an opinion without a factual basis. It is an outrageous claim for a so-called "advocate for the seriously mentally ill" to make, and Mr. Stawicki using it as if it is a fact, is irresponsible. The professional literature is quite clear that there is not yet any way to reliably predict who will become violent.  The methods the professionals do have to assess the risk for violence are not accurate enough to reliably predict an individual's potential for violence. Additionally, the belief that psychiatric treatment can prevent violence is contradictory to well documented adverse effects of the psychotropics drugs that psychiatrists use to treat mental illnesses they diagnose that are known to cause  violent, aggressive, suicidal and homicidal behaviors.  

via the American Psychiatric Association: 

Position Statement on Assessing the Risk for Violence
Approved by the Board of Trustees, July 2012
Approved by the Assembly, May 2012
"Policy documents are approved by the APA Assembly and Board of Trustees…These are…position statements that define APA official policy on specific subjects…" 
– APA Operations Manual.
This position statement was proposed by the Workgroup on Violence Risk of the Council on Psychiatry and Law.

During their careers most psychiatrists will assess the risk of violence to others. While psychiatrists can often identify circumstances associated with an increased likelihood of violent behavior, they cannot predict dangerousness with definitive accuracy. Over any given period some individuals assessed to be at low risk will act violently while others assessed to be at high risk will not. When deciding whether a patient is in need of intervention to prevent harm to others, psychiatrists should consider both the presence of recognized risk factors and the most likely precipitants of violence in a particular case.

The members of the Workgroup on Violence Risk are: Alec Buchanan, M.D. (Chairperson), Michael A. Norko, M.D., Renee L. Binder, M.D., and Marvin Swartz, M.D.

While there is no way to know for certain, it is possible the tragic events in which Ian Statawicki shot and killed five people, and injured a sixth before taking his own life, may have never occurred had he been prosecuted for the two assaults he committed in 2007 and 2010.  He was not prosecuted because a girlfriend and his mother lied about what had occurred, and the King County and Kittitas County Prosecutors had to drop the assault charges against him.  


via Seattle Times:
"One of Stawicki's ex-girlfriends, who he dated for three years, noticed his personality "suddenly changed" in late 2007, when he began flying into a violent rages, according to a domestic-violence court filing. In February 2008, she came home to find Stawicki smashing more than $1,000 worth of belongings, including her computer monitor and vinyl-record collection.
"When she tried to call 911, "All of a sudden I was on the ground and my nose was bleeding," she told police.
"He grabbed his .45-caliber handgun and fled into nearby Discovery Park before a police K9 unit tracked him down.
"He was charged with four domestic violence-related misdemeanors, but the charges were dismissed when the woman filed a sworn statement to Stawicki's attorney, Michael Kolker of Seattle, disputing the police report. Kolker declined to comment.
"Two years later, in March 2010, Stawicki displayed similar rage when, according to police report, he attacked his brother, Andrew, at their family's Ellensburg home. Stawicki said he "was blind" because of his younger brother, and began punching him in front of their mother.
"Andrew Stawicki said the incident is the reason he stopped talking to his brother.

"Ian Stawicki was again charged with misdemeanor assault, and represented by Kolker. This time it was his mother disputing the police report, describing it as a verbal, not physical, confrontation, and prosecutors dropped the charges." read  here 
I live here in Washington, and I have all my life, as have my children who are now grown. I have no doubt that the civil commitment criteria in Washington State's Involuntary Treatment Act do not need to be lower than they are currently. Washington State allows gossip and hearsay to be used as "evidence." I know for a fact from experience, that when the current standards are not followed, there is no investigation, even though the Law states it is a requirement. I know for a fact that perjury and forgery can be used by unethical mental health professionals with impunity. These "professionals can then shred the original Court documents and cover up their crimes; knowing that no criminal investigation will be conducted if  the crimes are reported. The reality is, when people with serious mental illness are the victims of crime, the perpetrators are seldom held accountable.  Even if the perpetrator is a Police Officer another one here.

Two of my major issues with mainstream advocacy groups and and advocates like DJ Jaffe is the utter and complete failure to do any advocacy for bringing those who  perpetrate crimes harming and killing the people diagnosed with mental illnesses to justice. The other, is the fact that these groups are silent about the amount of fraud and blatant corruption in psychiatry through it's collusion with the drug industry. It is pseudo-science with consensus based psychiatric diagnoses and "medical," e.g. psychopharmacological treatments.  Instead, these sort of advocates capitalize on tragedies involving mentally ill victims and/or perpetrators and enlist the parents as advocates for the forced treatment agenda. Advocating for an agenda is not the same thing as advocating for the people who have a psychiatric diagnosis that the forced treatment agenda is going to be implemented against. 

I have not been myself since the summer of 2010 when I realized that many things are just not at all how I believed them to be. This realization is painful, as were the events which brought it about. Felony crimes were committed in Yakima County Superior Court against my son, and when I filed a criminal complaint reporting the crimes with Law Enforcement, and the Division of Behavioral Health and Recovery, Health and Human Services Office of Civil Rights, and the Department of Justice, Office of Civil Rights, Criminal Division--nothing happened. Well, some things happened; however, none of the things that should have happened, have happened. No investigation, no prosecution, and no conviction for the felony crimes committed by medical and legal “professionals” who abandoned their training, the ethics of their chosen professions, their duty to my son and their duty as Officers of the Court. Using a forged document and perjury as “evidence” these people went into Yakima County Superior Court to obtain Court Orders to detain and subsequently commit my son. These crimes were committed when he sought to be hospitalized because he was in crisis. He had committed no crime. He has never refused to take prescribed medications; nor has he ever refused to go to scheduled appointments.
Although involuntary treatment commitment proceedings are considered, “civil” as opposed to “criminal;” one should have no doubt that the loss of one’s liberty and the loss of legal and political status, without being afforded equal protection under the law, is a violation of one’s Human Rights, codified as one's Constitutional rights, here in the United States. The consequences are as detrimental, if not more so, than the consequences for a misdemeanor criminal conviction. The consequences of a civil commitment proceeding which results in a Court Order, can conceivably last the remainder of one’s lifetime. The legal protections the law affords a person in a civil commitment proceeding is less than that afforded criminal defendants; even if the person facing involuntary commitment is not suspected of committing any crime...Not unlike a misdemeanor criminal conviction, a Court Order for involuntary treatment alters a person’s legal status; however, unlike most criminal convictions, a civil commitment may ultimately result in a lifetime deprivation or limitation of the individual's Liberty; vis-à-vis community treatment orders.

Why are there different, and much lower standards used in Civil Involuntary Commitment proceedings than in any other type of Court proceeding? The Involuntary Treatment statute deprives a person of their individual Constitutional Rights which are preserved and defended for people who are charged with crimes.   

1. The “evidence” required to obtain a Court Order to detain, and/or commit a person can be nothing more than hearsay, speculation, gossip and innuendo. In my son's case, the "evidence" was fabricated by unethical mental health "professionals" who acted Under Color of Law with impunity. The mental health clinic that employs them shredded the original court documents, a violation of the law that was reported, but never investigated or prosecuted.

2. It is alleged or implied in these proceedings that the person has a “brain disease” a genetic defect, or a "chemical imbalance" and that it is a psychiatric diagnosis that can be corrected, or at least, “medically treated.” No factual evidence is offered to substantiate what is alleged or implied; nor is any evidence that the person has a disease or defect even required.

3. Standard Court Procedures are not followed. By law, following Standard Court Procedures is not required in civil commitment proceedings.

4. The person subjected to these proceedings is 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--A vigorous defense is needed, yet rarely is any defense, let alone a vigorous one, even attempted. An attorney was assigned 700 Involuntary Commitment cases to defend in one year working as Assigned Counsel in Yakima County's Office of Assigned Counsel, he unabashedly admitted that he had unsuccessfully mounted a defense in 3 of the 700 cases.

The obvious detrimental social, political and legal consequences to the person court ordered to Involuntary Treatment demands that individuals who are subject to these proceedings have equal protection under the law. It is ethically, legally and morally indefensible that the law
requires so much less. It is an intentional violation of an individual's civil rights. It is a legally mandated social policy that “legalized” discrimination against an entire class of people. It purposely deprives people of their individual rights 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 any of this is done “for their own good” is all things considered, truly despicable and utterly reprehensible.

The answer to “Why are there different, and much lower standards used in Civil Involuntary Commitment proceedings?” It is because there is no evidence that a psychiatric diagnosis of schizophrenia, for example, is caused by a brain disease or genetic defect. It is a hypothesis, not even a theory. Therefore, there is no evidence to offer a Court that complies with or conforms to the Rules of Evidence used in Courts of Law in every other criminal or civil proceeding. These involuntary treatment hearings can only be undertaken by depriving individuals of their Constitutional Rights. So, this unconstitutional law further declares that the standard Rules of Evidence do not apply, and neither do Standard Court Procedures. 

Psychiatry is not an ethical medical practice, if it were, it would use ethical medical principles. It would not use fraudulent and discredited research, and adopt standards based on subjective opinions. It would not rationalize and justify misinforming patients and the general public about the nature of psychiatric diagnoses and treatments as being done "for their own good." Psychiatry if it were an ethical medical practice,would not later claim that professionals were stating diagnoses are diseases not because it was the truth,(because it is not) but it was simply, "a metaphor" used to help patients "understand" how important taking their drugs and being "treatment compliant" is. What a despicable juvenile rationalization and justification for an intentional deceit that in effect, and in fact made committing criminal fraud a standard clinical practice. Psychiatrists participated in widespread corruption and fraud to "practice medicine." The billions of dollars of fraud that the pharmaceutical industry has been fined for what is still an ongoing criminal enterprise has netted taxpayers billions of dollars in fines; a very small percentage of what was defrauded from the public coffers. The fraud and and illegal marketing could not have been implemented at all without the willing cooperation and felonious complicity of psychiatrists who are considered "leaders" in the American Psychiatric Association and the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Every one of the "patient advocacy groups" have some of these same criminals serving as "scientific advisers" and/or Board members.

If Involuntary Treatment is, "in the patient's best interest," and "for their own good..." 
I'm Mary Freakin' Poppins!
Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.
C.S. Lewis

Grace E. Jackson, M.D., affidavit on toxicity and brain damage

Involuntary Commitment and Forced Psychiatric Drugging in the Trial Courts: Rights Violations as a Matter of Course, by James B. (Jim) Gottstein, 25 Alaska L. Rev.  51 (2008).

Neurleptic Drugs and Violence Catherine Clarke SRN, SCM, MSSCH, MBChA.

and Jan Evans MCSP. Grad Dip Phys.

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