Posts Tagged ‘Living Will’

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.

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.

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.

Medical Battery

Sunday, October 20th, 2013

Medical Battery

Medical battery is defined as the intentional violation of a patient’s rights to direct his or her medical treatment. No injury or negligence is generally necessary for a finding of medical battery. Battery can involve an unauthorized touching of another person. Medical battery occurs when a patient is treated without informed consent. Most commonly, battery charges are alleged where there is a dispute over whether the patient agreed to treatment or refused treatment. The agreement or refusal of treatment can be made directly with the patient, through an advance directive (such as a Living Will), or through a health care proxy.

Laws governing medical battery vary from state to state in the same way that laws governing medical malpractice vary. The doctor may not mean to cause harm, but if the treatment is without consent then it is said to be imposed against the patient’s will.

One can see how this aligns with the criminal definition of battery, such as in the Revised Statues of Missouri (RSMo) 455.010, “purposely or knowingly causing physical harm to another with or without a deadly weapon.”

A “Vulnerable Person” (RSMo 630.005) in Missouri is “any person in the custody, care, or control of the Department of Mental Health that is receiving services from an operated, funded, licensed, or certified program.” Abusing a vulnerable person in Missouri is a Class A Misdemeanor, meaning that it carries a potential jail sentence of one year or less. However, any perpetrator has only to claim that the actions were done in good faith, or were provided within accepted standards of care and treatment, in order to avoid prosecution (RSMo 565.214).

Court decisions in Missouri provide precedence that to recover damages for battery, a plaintiff must plead and prove that a physician intended offensive bodily contact, or that a physician performed a medical procedure without valid consent.

“Consent to medical treatment may be manifested in a number of ways: the patient may expressly consent by oral agreement or by signing a formal written permission; or the patient may give implied authority by conduct, such as by voluntary submission to the operation or by failure to object to it.” (sc90835-47570) Thus, it is essentially the individual’s responsibility to assert their own informed consent or informed refusal to treatment.

Click here for more information about informed consent.

[Note: CCHR does not provide legal advice. The information here is for educational purposes only.]

Your Federal Government at Work

Saturday, August 24th, 2013

Your Federal Government at Work

Last June the President hosted the National Conference on Mental Health to talk about how to raise awareness of mental health issues and make it easier for everyone to get the mental health care “they need.”

The President’s Fiscal Year 2014 Budget proposal includes large amounts of taxpayer money helping teachers recognize signs of “mental illness” in their students and referring them to “mental health care;” supporting state-based mental health programs aimed young people ages 16-to-25; and training 5,000 additional mental health professionals with an emphasis on treating these students and young adults.

The goal is to have more Americans seek mental health treatment, and make sure that their insurance pays for it.

The Affordable Care Act is a major player in this big brother view of mental heath care, expanding mental health benefits and federal insurance parity protections for more than 60 million Americans. There are 314 million Americans, so this expansion is aimed at roughly 20% of the entire U.S. population. The Affordable Care Act requires new health plans to cover depression screenings for adults and behavioral assessments for children, and soon insurance companies will no longer be able to deny health care coverage to anyone because of a pre-existing mental health condition.

Are you looking forward to this? Are you not excited about the government guaranteeing “treatment” for all the fraudulent mental disorders in the new DSM-5? Get ready to sign up, because the Whitehouse knows what’s good for you!

The only thing is, they are not talking about the rampant fraud and abuse in the mental health care industry, and the very real damage that psychiatric drugs and treatments cause. They are not funding any efforts to curb the fraud and abuse. They are certainly not suggesting that psychiatry itself is a fraudulent and abusive practice.

What can you do about it? As a non-political organization, we are not suggesting political action. But we are suggesting that you Find Out and Fight Back in a manner consistent with your own views in the matter. Occasionally we might make some particular suggestions about what you can do.

Speaking of which, here are some suggestions.

FIND OUT

Review the material on the various CCHR websites and in the various CCHR publications and documentaries. You can start here: www.CCHRSTL.org.

If you have not seen any of the CCHR documentaries, watch them now. You can request a free information kit here.

Satisfy yourself that psychiatry and the current mental health care industry in America does not have your best interests at heart.

Sure, people can have mental trauma, and they need effective care. However, psychiatry is harmful junk science; your family and friends deserve better. Find out about the alternatives to harmful psychiatric treatments.

Ask yourself how many people you know who are taking psychiatric drugs, and if you really think this is OK.

FIGHT BACK

Support CCHR by becoming a member of CCHR St. Louis and request a DVD documentary. Show the documentary to your family, friends and associates; to your school groups and church groups; to your legislators; to your attorney and your insurance provider. You get the idea. Tell us what you did.

Give a CCHR documentary or booklet to someone.

Contact your local, state and federal officials, and let them know what you think about the fraud and abuse in the mental health industry. Write Letters to the Editor of your local news media.

Forward this newsletter to everyone you know and recommend they subscribe.

Volunteer some time to help CCHR fight back. Donate some funds to help CCHR fight back.

Execute a Living Will — a Letter of Protection Against Unwanted Psychiatric Incarceration and/or Treatment.

Report all instances of complaints and adverse psychotropic drug reactions to your national drug regulatory agency. In the U.S. this is at www.fda.gov/medwatch.

There are many other ways to help. The alternative may be a United States where everyone is taking psychiatric drugs on government orders.

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.

They’re Taking Me Away

Wednesday, September 5th, 2012

They’re Taking Me Away

Nuisance Abatement Vehicle

Guess where this could take you for a 96-hour
drugged-silly vacation?

Missouri Revised Statutes Chapter 632 Section 305:
An application for detention of any person for 96 hours for evaluation and treatment may be executed by any adult person who alleges under oath that the applicant has reason to believe that the respondent is suffering from a mental disorder and presents a likelihood of serious harm to himself or to others.

In other words, all you have to do in Missouri to get someone a one-way ride in this police limo is to claim the person is trying to kill you. Oops, you didn’t hear me say that; we don’t want to encourage the frivolous use of this lawful involuntary commitment mechanism. Oops, they call it “civil” commitment, or “detention,” because “involuntary” sounds so intimidating.

We suggest you download and execute the psychiatric Living Will, and carry a copy with you all the time. A Living Will lets you specify decisions about your health care treatment in advance. Should you be in a position where you are to be subject to unwanted psychiatric hospitalization and/or mental or medical treatment, this Letter of Protection from Psychiatric Incarceration and/or Treatment directs that such incarceration, hospitalization, treatment or procedures not be imposed, committed or used on you. Download the document and follow the instructions now.

For more information about involuntary commitment, download and read the CCHR booklet “Involuntary Psychiatric Commitment – A Crack in the Door of Constitutional Freedoms.”

Protect Yourself Against Misdiagnosis and Abuse

Wednesday, May 30th, 2012

Anyone diagnosed with a psychiatric (mental) disorder and/or their parent or guardian has the right to informed consent before any treatment is undertaken. Unlike diagnoses for medical conditions, psychiatrists do not have blood tests or any other biological tests to ascertain the presence or absence of a mental illness. It is important to know that according to one state government medical manual, “Mental health professionals working within a mental health system have a professional and a legal obligation to recognize the presence of physical disease in their patients” and to rule out any physical condition causing “a patient’s mental disorder.”

Psychiatrists rarely conduct thorough physical examinations to rule out medical conditions, thereby misdiagnosing the patient. This can result in inappropriate and dangerous treatment, added to the fact that the real underlying medical condition is left untreated. Treatment for alleged mental illness is also extremely expensive to you or to your insurance company.

Further, if a psychiatrist asserts that your mental condition is caused by a “chemical imbalance” in the brain or is a neurobiological disorder, you have the right to ask for the lab test or other test to prove the accuracy of that diagnosis.

Fill out this Psychiatric Diagnosis Abuse Report Form for your protection and provide it to your legal representative and insurance carrier to take further action.

You might also wish to prepare a Psychiatric Living Will. A Living Will lets you specify decisions about your health care treatment in advance. Should you be in a position where you are to be subject to unwanted psychiatric hospitalization and/or mental or medical treatment, this Letter of Protection from Psychiatric Incarceration and/or Treatment directs that such incarceration, hospitalization, treatment or procedures not be imposed, committed or used on you.

Blowing the Whistle

Tuesday, December 20th, 2011
Qui Tam: An abbreviated version of the Latin phrase Qui Tam pro domino rege quam pro si ipso in hac parte sequitur, which means “Who sues on behalf of the King, as well as for Himself.”

Whistleblower (also whistle-blower): One who reveals wrongdoing to the public or to those in positions of authority; probably an allusion to a police officer blowing a whistle on observing a violation of the law.

In Qui Tam litigation a private citizen (the whistleblower) who knows of fraud committed against the government may, through his own privately retained lawyers, file a law suit in his own name and in the name of the United States, to recover the losses caused by the government fraud. The federal False Claims Act [31 U.S.C.A. § 3729] provides huge financial incentives to citizen whistleblowers to retain attorneys and come forward, prosecute these lawsuits and fight government fraud.

Blowing the whistle on health care fraud, particularly mental health care fraud, can be scary for one who has never done this before. Fear of retaliation and the stigma associated with being a “troublemaker” contribute to the underreporting of fraud in health care. Anyone contemplating such a qui tam action may need guidance to decide whether to report, how to report, and what they should do to protect themselves when they do report.

What constitutes fraud in mental health care?

The massive psychiatric drugging of America’s children, particularly poor, disadvantaged children and youth through Medicaid and in foster care is an unfolding public health catastrophe of massive proportions. This catastrophe is being caused by the fraudulent promotion of these harmful practices by psychiatrists and pharmaceutical companies sacrificing children and youth’s health, futures and lives on the altar of corporate profits. An example as it pertains to Medicaid recipients can be described as:

Psychiatrist (or other medical doctor) prescribes a psychotropic drug that is not for a medically accepted indication. The pharmacy presents the prescription to Medicaid for reimbursement. This is a false claim because 42 USC 1396R-8(k)(3) prohibits reimbursement under Medicaid for any outpatient drugs “used for a medical indication which is not a medically accepted indication.”

An overview of statistics on fraud recoveries by the US government during the period October 1, 1986 to September 30, 2008 can be found here: http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/2008/November/fraud-statistics1986-2008.htm.

Other kinds of psychiatric fraud can be found here [http://www.cchrstl.org/fraud.shtml].

What about psychiatric abuse?

While qui tam law suits are only for fraud, there may be cases where reporting abuse is either warranted or required.

For example, the Missouri Revised Statutes (Chapter 210 Section 210.115) basically state that when anyone engaged in the care or treatment of children has reasonable cause to suspect that a child has been subjected to abuse, that person must immediately report such to the Division of Family Services [http://www.dss.mo.gov/cd/rptcan.htm].

Examples of psychiatric abuse can be found here [http://www.cchrstl.org/abuse.shtml].

Whistleblower guidelines and protection

The references below identify steps for blowing the whistle on fraud or abuse, and make numerous suggestions for learning how to do this and carrying it through.

CCHR also recommends preparing Living Wills [http://www.cchrstl.org/takeaction.shtml#LivingWill] for yourself and your family. A Living Will lets you specify decisions about one’s own health care treatment in advance. Should you be in a position where you are to be subject to unwanted psychiatric hospitalization and/or mental or medical treatment, this Letter of Protection from Psychiatric Incarceration and/or Treatment directs that such incarceration, hospitalization, treatment or procedures not be imposed, committed or used on you.

Of course, you can also report psychiatric drug side effects to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration [http://www.fda.gov/medwatch/], and you can report psychiatric abuse to CCHR [http://www.cchr.org/take-action/psychiatric-abuse-report-form.html].

Whistleblowing is certainly one of society’s best lines of defense against psychiatric fraud and abuse, which have been eroding our mental health care system for many years. CCHR, with your support, works toward the day when whistleblowing is no longer needed. You can express your support by volunteering your time, or giving someone for whom you care a membership in CCHR St. Louis.

References:

1. “Preparing to Blow the Whistle, A Survival Guide for Nurses”; Nayna C. Philipsen, JD; Donald Soeken, LCSW-C; MedScape posted 11/18/2011 [http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/751347]; Journal for Nurse Practitioners 2011;7(9):740-746. © Elsevier Science, Inc.

2. PsychRights’ Medicaid Fraud Initiative Against Psychiatric Drugging of Children & Youth [http://psychrights.org/education/ModelQuiTam/ModelQuiTam.htm]

3. Whistle Blower – Qui Tam, Ashcraft & Gerel LLP [http://www.ashcraftandgerel.com/practiceareas/whistle-blower-qui-tam/]

4. The Free Dictionary [http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/whistleblower]

5. Taxpayers Against Fraud Education Fund – a nonprofit, public interest organization dedicated to combating fraud against the Federal Government through the promotion and use of the Federal False Claims Act and its qui tam provisions. [http://taf.org]

6. The National Whistleblowers Center (NWC) is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to protecting employees’ lawful disclosure of waste, fraud, and abuse. [http://www.whistleblowers.org]