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Refusing Care: Forced Treatment and the Rights of the Mentally Ill

Refusing Care: Forced Treatment and the Rights of the Mentally Ill

It has been said that how a society treats its least well-off members speaks volumes about its humanity. If so, our treatment of the mentally ill suggests that American society is inhumane: swinging between overintervention and utter neglect, we sometimes force extreme treatments on those who do not want them, and at other times discharge mentally ill patients who do want treatment without providing adequate resources for their care in the community.

Focusing on overinterventionist approaches, Refusing Care explores when, if ever, the mentally ill should be treated against their will. Basing her analysis on case and empirical studies, Elyn R. Saks explores dilemmas raised by forced treatment in three contexts—civil commitment (forced hospitalization for noncriminals), medication, and seclusion and restraints. Saks argues that the best way to solve each of these dilemmas is, paradoxically, to be both more protective of individual autonomy and more paternalistic than current law calls for. For instance, while Saks advocates relaxing the standards for first commitment after a psychotic episode, she also would prohibit extreme mechanical restraints (such as tying someone spread-eagled to a bed). Finally, because of the often extreme prejudice against the mentally ill in American society, Saks proposes standards that, as much as possible, should apply equally to non-mentally ill and mentally ill people alike.

Mental health professionals, lawyers, disability rights activists, and anyone who wants to learn more about the way the mentally ill are treated—and ought to be treated—in the United States should read Refusing Care.

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CNN, Lou Dobbs “Forced Vaccination” 09-29-09, Barbara Loe Fisher, Swine Flu, National Vaccine Information Center, NVIC

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Protest in Albany NY Tuesday September 29th. Click Here For Info. www.meetup.com This year, the New York State Health Department is requiring all health care workers who come into contact with patients to get the flu vaccine, and will also require the H1N1 or swine flu vaccine as well. It’s something the department says is for everyone’s safety, but a number of workers are concerned about being forced to get the shot. Steve Ference has more on why some hospital workers say the mandate is flat out wrong.

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Protest in Albany NY Tuesday September 29th. Click Here For Info. www.meetup.com This year, the New York State Health Department is requiring all health care workers who come into contact with patients to get the flu vaccine, and will also require the H1N1 or swine flu vaccine as well. It’s something the department says is for everyone’s safety, but a number of workers are concerned about being forced to get the shot. Steve Ference has more on why some hospital workers say the mandate is flat out wrong.

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Here is audio (1 of 2) of Democrat Rep. Eric Massa on a New York Radio Station (3/7/10) where he explained the “inappropriate comments” he made to a male staffer at a wedding, and how he believes that is now being used by the Democratic Leadership to get him out of Congress because of his intention to vote “No” on the Senate Health Care Bill when it comes up for vote in the House.

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Here is audio (2 of 2) of Democrat Rep. Eric Massa on a New York Radio Station (3/7/10) where he explained the “inappropriate comments” he made to a male staffer at a wedding, and how he believes that is now being used by the Democratic Leadership to get him out of Congress because of his intention to vote “No” on the Senate Health Care Bill when it comes up for vote in the House.

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500 Gaston County seniors forced to change Medicare prescription drug coverage
More than 500 seniors in Gaston County will need to change their Medicare prescription coverage after a federal agency terminated an insurance provider’s contract. The U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services terminated Fox Insurance Co. of…

Read more on The Gaston Gazette

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