Posts Tagged ‘Involuntary Commitment’

Take Action – Missouri Legislature – Involuntary Commitment

Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017

Periodically we let you know the progress of various proposed legislation making its way through the Missouri General Assembly and suggest ways for you to contribute your viewpoint to your state Representative and state Senator.

You can find your Representative and Senator, and their contact information, by entering your 9-digit zip code here.

This time, we’d like to discuss Senate Bill SB221, “Authorizes legal counsel for the Department of Mental Health to have standing in certain hearings involving a person unable to stand trial due to lack of mental fitness”, sponsored by Senator Jeanie Riddle (R, District 10).

“This act provides that after a person accused of committing a crime has been committed to the Department of Mental Health due to lack of mental fitness to stand trial, the legal counsel for the Department shall have standing to participate in hearings regarding involuntary medications for the accused.”

First off, we’d like to say that Involuntary Commitment (also called civil commitment) is a crack in the door of constitutional freedoms, and should be abolished.

This bill would modify Section 552.020, RSMo (Missouri Revised Statutes) which establishes this type of involuntary commitment in the state. The main topic of this statute states, “No person who as a result of mental disease or defect lacks capacity to understand the proceedings against him or her or to assist in his or her own defense shall be tried, convicted or sentenced for the commission of an offense so long as the incapacity endures.” Instead, the person is incarcerated against their will in a psychiatric facility. In effect, they are put in jail without a trial. This is often called NGRI, “Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity.”

Here (in italics) is the main requested change in the law: “If the court determines that the accused lacks mental fitness to proceed, the criminal proceedings shall be suspended and the court shall commit him or her to the director of the department of mental health. After the person has been committed, legal counsel for the department of mental health shall have standing to file motions and participate in hearings on the issue of involuntary medications.

In other words, once the person becomes an involuntary ward of the state in a psychiatric facility, then the Department of Mental Health can force the person to be placed on psychiatric drugs by petitioning the court.

When any psychiatric facility has full legal power to cause your involuntary physical detention by force (kidnapping), drug you senseless, subject you to physical pain and mental stress (torture), leave you permanently mentally damaged (cruel and unusual punishment), with or without proving to your peers that you are a danger to yourself or have committed a crime (due process of law, trial by jury) then, by definition, a totalitarian state exists.

Because of their ubiquity and far–reaching powers, involuntary commitment laws lay a truly concrete foundation for totalitarianism. And they are not, it must be stressed, a threat of what might be, but a present danger — representing America’s gaping breach in the otherwise admirable wall of individual Constitutional rights.

Involuntary commitment laws hike federal, state, county, city and private health care costs under the strange circumstance of a patient–recipient who cannot say no.

And we have not even mentioned yet that the involuntary psychiatric drugs that this proposed change in the law sanctions are harmful and addictive, and are known to cause violence and suicide.

The person who pleads NGRI to a crime needs effective justice and rehabilitation, not psychiatric drugs.

Contact your Missouri state Representative and Senator, and let them know what you think about this.

For more information click here.

The Greater Good

Saturday, August 27th, 2016

What are the limits that the State can do claiming “The Greater Good?”

Strict scrutiny is a form of judicial review that courts use to determine the constitutionality of certain laws. To pass a strict scrutiny review, the legislature must have passed the law to further a “compelling governmental interest,” and must have narrowly tailored the law to achieve that interest.

The concept of “strict scrutiny” arises from the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution which states, “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

The situations we are considering here are any attempts by the legislature to require that a child or adult be forced to take psychotropic drugs, or indeed to be forced to accept any kind of psychiatric treatment, including involuntary commitment.

There are not many issues in the field of mental hygiene law which raise more controversy than that of involuntary commitment and treatment. The courts have unequivocally recognized that involuntary treatment, meaning involuntary or “civil” commitment and enforced drugging, by the government is a substantial deprivation of liberty, and therefore falls under the aegis of the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. However, there has continued to be a legal erosion of this principle by passing laws stipulating the rules of due process in such cases, all intended to give the State more power to enforce their own considerations of what is the greater good.

Missouri Revised Statutes Chapter 632 Section 300 is an example. To paraphrase,  if a mental health coordinator has reasonable cause to believe, as the result of personal observation or investigation, that the likelihood of serious harm by a person to himself or others as a result of a mental disorder is imminent unless the person is immediately taken into custody, the mental health coordinator must request a peace officer to take the person into custody and transport them to a mental health facility.

We no longer have any compelling governmental interest, since it is one person’s judgment or opinion, not the government’s; and the due process of law in this case is just one person’s judgment or opinion, sanctioned by a law that clearly was tailored to bypass strict scrutiny.

The fact that these actions are couched in such doublespeak as “to prevent him from committing harm” is unfortunate, for it hides the evil intention to incapacitate the individual.

For more information, click here.

Political Psychiatry: How China Uses ‘Ankang’ Hospitals to Silence Dissent

Sunday, May 1st, 2016

Political Psychiatry: How China Uses ‘Ankang’ Hospitals to Silence Dissent

The Wall Street Journal (19 April 2016) recently reported on how China’s Ministry of Public Security is using psychiatric involuntary commitment to remove dissidents from society and silence their protests.

“… human rights groups have long charged that one of the crudest examples of illegality in Chinese criminal procedure is the political use of psychiatry to detain, imprison, and forcibly medicate dissidents and activists. The use of this tactic, borrowed from the Soviet Union early in the Maoist era, was reduced after the Cultural Revolution, but revived in 1987 with the creation of psychiatric hospitals, administered by the police, called Ankang (‘peace and health’) institutions.”

CCHR also reported on this in 2014, when it said, “The Chinese government routinely uses psychiatric confinements as a tool to control dissidents.”

Even earlier in 2010 this was being reported.

Psychiatry and psychology have a long and troubling history of being used to suppress political dissidents — most recently with the CIA-sanctioned torture program. Despite consistent denials, the American Psychological Association had numerous contacts with CIA contract psychologists Drs. James Mitchell and Bruce Jessen, including contacts related to illegal interrogation techniques. For example, the APA secretly coordinated with officials from the CIA, White House and the Department of Defense to create an APA ethics policy on national security interrogations which comported with then-classified legal guidance authorizing the CIA torture program.

Too often the “mental health” industry has shown its willingness to accommodate and collude to legitimatize government policy, including the torture and murder by the People’s Republic of China’s Falun Gong, the CIA’s 1950’s MKULTRA mind-control programs, and the Soviet Union’s incarceration of political dissidents in psychiatric hospitals and sentenced to labor camps, to name a few.

In 1955, a Soviet manual entitled Brainwashing: A Synthesis of the Russian Textbook on Psychopolitics was translated and distributed as a public warning by a New York professor. The manual was based on the methods of Ivan Pavlov, a Russian psychiatrist who developed “conditioned response” theories through experiments on dogs in the early 1900s. Pavlov’s work laid the groundwork for a fundamental psychiatric misconception that remains to this day: that, like dogs, men are basically programmable animals, influenced only by fear and reward. Pavlov’s experiments established the foundation for much of the inhuman brainwashing techniques used by the Soviet Union and China in the mid-twentieth century; and now used by the United States Central Intelligence Agency in their Detention and Interrogation Program.

PSYCHOPOLITICS—the art and science of asserting and maintaining dominion over the thoughts and loyalties of individuals, officers, bureaus, and masses, and the effecting of the conquest of enemy nations through “mental healing”. Download the Brainwashing manual here.

Who is the Predator Here?

Friday, October 9th, 2015

Who is the Predator Here?

We approach this topic with some trepidation, as there can be considerable fixed opinions regarding the topic of sex.

We feel, however, that the news is relevant — and we’d like your permission to continue reading. We aren’t concerned so much with offending anyone; we’re sure we do that anyway by exposing the fraud and abuse inherent in the mental health care system. So if you have an emotional reaction to this information, we dare you to read on.

If you may be feeling upset, angry, or otherwise overwhelmed by any of the material we present in our newsletters, know this: The intention in presenting these materials is not at all to make anyone feel overwhelmed or upset. Our intention is to expose what has been hidden from the general public by various forces, to shine the light of truth on the psychiatric industry, and to restore human rights and dignity to the field of mental health.

Our intention is for you to be enraged by the pervasive abuse of human rights by the psychiatric mental health care industry and incite you to action. If you know of people who have been harmed by a psychiatrist or by a psychiatric facility, encourage them to file a complaint.

Sex offenders who have completed their prison sentences are often detained (usually for life) in prison-like psychiatric facilities based on the completely mistaken assumption that their having committed sexual crimes somehow means they are also mentally ill. These however, are criminal actions and are covered by criminal justice, not psychiatric diagnoses.

A recent article in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch discusses this topic. [“Judge calls sex predator law misapplied“, 9/12/2015]

A U.S. District Judge ruled that Missouri’s sexually violent predator law, although constitutional, is seriously misapplied.

“The judge wrote that there is a ‘pervasive sense of hopelessness’ at the Department of Mental Health’s Sex Offender Rehabilitation and Treatment Services, or SORTS program, because patients aren’t being properly released.”

“SORTS is indefinitely committing about 200 people to treatment in the belief that they might re-offend.”

“The overwhelming evidence at trial — much of which came from Defendants’ own experts — did establish that the SORTS civil commitment program suffers from systemic failures regarding risk assessment and release that have resulted in the continued confinement of individuals who no longer meet the criteria for commitment, in violation of the Due Process Clause. … The Constitution does not allow (Missouri officials) to impose lifetime detention on individuals who have completed their prison sentences and who no longer pose a danger to the public, no matter how heinous their past conduct.”

They call this process “civil commitment” – an attempt to make it sound less harsh than “involuntary commitment.”

Displaying a surprising ignorance of (and careless indifference to) proper diagnostic practice, psychologists and psychiatrists routinely and rotely misdiagnose mental disorder in sexual offenders who are in fact clearly no more than simple criminals.

Statutory checks on the abuse of civil commitment laws are scarce, readily sidestepped and widely ignored. Yet the minds and memories of those subjected to this capriciousness have frequently been destroyed after involuntary imprisonment in psychiatric facilities across the nation.

When any psychiatrist has full legal power to cause your involuntary physical detention by force (kidnapping), subject you to physical pain and mental stress (torture), leave you permanently mentally damaged (cruel and unusual punishment), with or without proving to your peers that you are a danger to yourself or others, then, by definition, a totalitarian state exists.

Because of their ubiquity and far–reaching powers, involuntary commitment laws lay a truly concrete foundation for totalitarianism. And they are not, it must be stressed, a threat of what might be, but a present danger — representing America’s gaping breach in the otherwise admirable wall of individual Constitutional rights.

With health care eating up vast amounts of our national budget, the first spending cut to make is the cost of “treating” people who prefer not to be mentally treated. Involuntary commitment laws hike federal, state, county, city and private health care costs under the strange circumstance of a patient–recipient who cannot say no, and in this case of a person who has already paid their time in prison.

CCHR recommends that citizens execute a Living Will, or Letter of Protection from Psychiatric Incarceration and/or Treatment, which directs that psychiatric incarceration, hospitalization, treatment or procedures not be imposed on you.

Click here for more information about involuntary commitment.

Sneaky Ways to Enforce Mental Health Care on Citizens

Saturday, August 8th, 2015

Sneaky Ways to Enforce Mental Health Care on Citizens

We would like to discuss Missouri Senate Bills 331 & 21 [SS/SCS/SBs 331 & 21This act modifies and enacts provisions relating to law enforcement officers.] This act is mostly about police officers wearing cameras.

While it did not progress through this year’s legislative session into law, we might assume it will be re-introduced in December for next year’s session. It has a particularly odious section on mental health care.

Here is the offending section:

If a state of emergency is proclaimed in response to civil unrest, the governor shall, at the request of the county health department, assign a sufficient number of state social workers, counselors, or psychologists to provide counseling and mental health services in the region affected by the unrest.

This language was originally introduced in SB 21 by Senator Maria Chappelle-Nadal (Democrat, District 14).

We predicted last year, after the Ferguson riots, that the mental health care industry would be moving into the community in force. (See our newsletters Behavioral Health in St. Louis and Ferguson Missouri Mental Health Tips and Ferguson and Human Rights.)

Specifically —

“A primary strategy of behavioral health is the extension of services into the community — at home, school, workplace and other community settings.”

“Be aware that every mental health group in the area, and indeed in the country, is going to be offering ‘support and counseling’ to Ferguson residents for their ‘anger and grief.’ Since we already know that the psychiatric and psychological mental health care industry is an affront to human rights, special care is needed to avoid getting sucked into the mental health treatment mill.”

“State Senator Maria Chappelle-Nadal … is pushing psychiatric mental health care on the community.” She was quoted as saying, “What should have happened since day one is we should have had counselors out in the streets and psychologists because this community is experiencing PTSD right now and frankly, I think some officers are, too.”

Now the mental health care industry would like to make their interference in social unrest a law. Next they will be involuntarily committing protestors as a solution. We’ve been down that “final solution” path before, and it isn’t pretty.

For sure, incidents like Ferguson need to be addressed. Whether it is called “civil unrest” or “riot”, it is really, at bottom, caused by injustice.

You can not cure injustice with psychological counseling. You cure it by restoring justice.

Go here for more information about psychiatric and psychological corruption of justice.

Involuntary Commitment Records in Missouri are No Longer Confidential

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2015

Involuntary Commitment  Records in Missouri are No Longer Confidential

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon signed into law Senate Bill 426 on July 13 which expands the conditions under which confidential mental health care records can be released.

Mental health care facilities that hold patients who have been civilly committed, either voluntarily or involuntarily, can now disclose information about patient medications and other medical records “to individuals designated by the department of mental health as community mental health liaisons for the purpose of coordination of care and services.”

We expect that this means the government wants to follow these patients back into the community when they are released so that they can be monitored as continuing to take their prescribed psychiatric drugs.

As if commitment is not an abusive human rights violation in itself! Now the government wants to make sure the abuse continues for the rest of the person’s life.

“The fact that psychiatric imprisonment is called ‘civil commitment’ is, of course, simply part of the linguistic deception characteristic of the mental–health system. Since civil commitment results in the loss of liberty, and subjects the victim to health hazards at the hands of medical criminals whose ostensible healing function is legitimized by the state, it entails far greater deprivation of rights than does incarceration in prison, a penalty carefully circumscribed by constitutional guarantees and judicial safeguards.”
(Dr. Thomas Szasz, M.D., late Professor of Psychiatry Emeritus)

With health care eating up vast amounts of our national budget, the first spending cut to make is the cost of “treating” people who prefer not to be mentally treated. Involuntary commitment laws hike federal, state, county, city and private health care costs under the strange circumstance of a patient–recipient who cannot say no.

CCHR recommends that citizens execute a Living Will, or Letter of Protection from Psychiatric Incarceration and/or Treatment, which directs that psychiatric incarceration, hospitalization, treatment or procedures not be imposed on you.

Human Rights Concerns with the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act of 2015

Saturday, July 18th, 2015

Human Rights Concerns with the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act of 2015

Congressional Rep. Tim Murphy (R., PA) originally introduced the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act (H.R.3717) in 2013. Not to be outdone by H.R.6 the 21st Century Cures Act, he has reintroduced it to this year’s Congress as H.R.2646 the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act of 2015.

Rep. Murphy is a psychologist, and a staunch supporter of “mental health care” as defined by the psychiatric and psychological industries; not to mention the pharmaceutical and insurance industries.

Official Title of the Act: “To make available needed psychiatric, psychological, and supportive services for individuals with mental illness and families in mental health crisis, and for other purposes.”

The Act creates a new position in the Department of Health and Human Services – an official to be known as the Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders. (As if we need another bureaucracy in the psych industry.)

The Act creates more funding for psych-based “treatments.”

The Act expands the bureaucracy surrounding “parity in mental health and substance use disorder benefits” under Medicare and Medicaid.

The Act provides for grants in early childhood intervention and treatment programs, and specialized preschool and elementary school programs.

The Act provides for grants in “Assisted Outpatient Treatment” programs.

The Act requires states to have a law that enforces court-ordered involuntary mental health treatment for the “mentally disabled” if the state want to receive certain federal funding.

The Act expands mental health training for primary care physicians.

This isn’t even half of the proposed legislation.

The Act spends lots more money on “suicide prevention” all up and down the entire educational chain, from elementary school through college.

The Act establishes an entirely new bureaucracy called the “Interagency Serious Mental Illness Coordinating Committee.”

Of course, the Act also expands the availability of and insurance coverage for psychiatric prescription drugs, as well as lifting limits on Medicare payments for inpatient psychiatric hospital services.

The Act expands the Community Mental Health Care programs.

The Act increases funding for the National Institute of Mental Health.

And even that’s not all the Act does to strengthen the already fraudulent and abusive psychiatric mental health industry.

CCHR Supporters should really consider contacting their Congressmen to express their opinions about this affront to rationality.

Let us know when you contact your Congressmen about this, and any response you may receive.

Crisis Intervention Teams and your mental health

Sunday, October 19th, 2014

Crisis Intervention Teams and your mental health

You may or may not be aware of a police function called a “Crisis Intervention Team” (CIT). There is a heavy ongoing push country-wide to train police officers to “handle” difficult situations involving “suspected mental illness.”

For example, someone calls 911 to report a domestic squabble. The police arrive. Tempers flair. Someone is going to be taken to a mental health facility for a “96-hour evaluation,” also called Involuntary Commitment or Civil Commitment.

Let us use the Saint Louis County Police CIT as an example, whose mission is “to deliver positive law enforcement crisis intervention service to people with mental illness in the St. Louis area.”

The CIT-trained officers are used primarily as a referral mechanism to local mental health hospitals and agencies. If they cannot defuse a potentially dangerous situation, they will forcibly transport the offending person to a local hospital emergency room and transfer the person into the mental health system, authorized by Missouri Statute 632.305 (“Detention for evaluation and treatment”.)

The CIT engages local hospitals, agencies and organizations in a cooperative effort (“community partnership”) to streamline this process. One of the primary goals of a CIT is to divert offenders from jail to the mental health system, reducing the burden on the criminal justice system.

In the St. Louis area, there are 20 cooperating mental health agencies, 9 cooperating hospital systems, and 58 local law enforcement agencies with CIT-trained personnel. There are 10 counties throughout Missouri with CIT programs.

In 1988, the Memphis Police Department joined in partnership with the Memphis Chapter of the Alliance for the Mentally Ill, mental health providers, and two local universities (the University of Memphis and the University of Tennessee) in organizing, training, and implementing a specialized unit for handling mental crisis events. This became the model Crisis Intervention Team subsequently exported to police departments across the country.

To be sure, no one disputes the need for police training, the safe and effective handling of potentially dangerous situations, and the temporary care for persons in crisis mode. One does, however, question the efficacy of mental health “treatment” in the current model of the psychiatric mental health system, where “treatment” generally means one or more abusive practices such as involuntary commitment, harmful and addictive psychotropic drugs, patient restraints, electroshock, and psycho-surgery.

Your mental health, and the mental health of your family, friends and associates, can be questioned by CIT-trained police. If this makes you uncomfortable, execute a Living Will (Letter of Protection from Psychiatric Incarceration and/or Treatment) and then express your opinion to your local, state and federal officials, and email the St. Louis Area Crisis Intervention Team Coordinating Council.

Boston Children’s Hospital Psychiatric Unit and Justina Pelletier’s 13 month incarceration

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

Boston Children’s Hospital Psychiatric Unit and Justina Pelletier’s 13 month incarceration

The international mental health watchdog organization, Citizens Commission on Human Rights, is calling on Massachusetts State Attorney General to investigate Boston Children’s Hospital Psychiatric Unit in the case of Justina Pelletier’s 13 month incarceration.

For thirteen months, Lou and Linda Pelletier’s youngest daughter, Justina, has been a prisoner at the hands of Boston Children’s Hospital Psychiatric Unit accused of suffering from an obscure “mental disorder,” Somatoform, which a leading psychologist describes as being “nothing more than a destructive and unreliably applied label.” In deteriorating health, and confined to a wheelchair, the 15-year-old learned this week that there will be no pardon from the Massachusetts Psychiatric Puritans.

After months of fighting for the teenager’s freedom, on March 25, the Pelletiers were summarily dismissed by the state’s inquisitors—the Juvenile Court—and denied custody of their ailing daughter. Juvenile Court Judge, Joseph Johnson’s reason for denying the Pelletier’s right to decide their daughter’s medical treatment was his belief that the Pelletiers will not “comply” with the state’s directives.

Click here to read the full article.

Amanda Bynes case and its relevance to Missouri

Sunday, August 18th, 2013

Amanda Bynes case and its relevance to Missouri

Former child star Amanda Bynes was committed to a psychiatric facility and reportedly is being treated for mental symptoms labeled as schizophrenia. According to California law, doctors can extend her commitment if she is “gravely disabled as a result of a mental disorder.”

This case is relevant for Missouri because of the legal standard used to commit her, that she was “gravely disabled.” That is not currently allowed in Missouri, but there was legislation introduced in the last session that would have allowed that, and it will likely be introduced again in the next legislative session.

Missouri House Bill 929 purportedly would help parents deal with their adult children who go off the rails before it gets to the point of physical harm — just like Amanda Bynes’ parents are trying to do. She is literally the “poster child” for this type of legislation and will help fertilize the ground for passage next year unless we write our Missouri legislators and let them know what we think about involuntary, or civil, commitment.

The bill changes the standards for determining when a person is in need of mental health detention and evaluation. The person must be held in a psychiatric facility if mentally ill and “gravely disabled” which is defined as “a condition in which a person, as a result of mental illness or mental disorder, lacks judgment in the management of his or her resources and in the conduct of his or her social relations to the extent that his or her health or safety is significantly endangered and he or she lacks the capacity to understand that this is so.”

Statutory checks on the abuse of civil commitment laws are scarce, readily sidestepped and widely ignored. Yet the minds and memories of those subjected to this capriciousness have frequently been destroyed after involuntary imprisonment in psychiatric facilities across the nation — be it a small clinic, private hospital or a government–run institution. And commitment laws have been used for every wrong reason: financial, sexual, business advantage, inheritance, political suppression, and even to maintain governmental secrecy.

When any psychiatrist has full legal power to cause your involuntary physical detention by force (kidnapping), subject you to physical pain and mental stress (torture), leave you permanently mentally damaged (cruel and unusual punishment), with or without proving to your peers that you are a danger to yourself or have committed a crime (due process of law, trial by jury) then, by definition, a totalitarian state exists.

Because of their ubiquity and far–reaching powers, involuntary commitment laws lay a truly concrete foundation for totalitarianism. And they are not, it must be stressed, a threat of what might be, but a present danger — representing America’s gaping breach in the otherwise admirable wall of individual Constitutional rights.

With health care eating up vast amounts of our national budget, the first spending cut to make is the cost of “treating” people who prefer not to be mentally treated. Involuntary commitment laws hike federal, state, county, city and private health care costs under the strange circumstance of a patient–recipient who cannot say no.

Involuntary commitment creates an astonishing debt load on our health care system. Given a very conservative daily cost of $940 for hospitalization and treatment, each involuntary commitment costs around $16,700. With up to 1.5 million people committed yearly, and using the conservative individual figure of $16,700, the annual health care drain is almost $25 billion! And this is paying for a service that most would refuse if given the chance.

The Missouri Revised Statutes (RSMo) Chapter 632 Section 300, Chapter 660 Section 290, and Chapter 632 Section 305 specify the conditions under which, and by whom, someone can be forcibly incarcerated in a mental health facility.

CCHR recommends that citizens execute a Living Will, or Letter of Protection from Psychiatric Incarceration and/or Treatment, which directs that psychiatric incarceration, hospitalization, treatment or procedures not be imposed on you.

Download and read the full CCHR report “Involuntary Psychiatric Commitment – A Crack In The Door Of Constitutional Freedoms“. Forward this newsletter to your family, friends and associates, and recommend that they subscribe.