Fwd: Oregon: psychonazis on the move

Agent Smiley (smiley_777@hotmail.com)
Tue, 16 Feb 1999 09:38:06 PST


DENDRITE ALERT -- February 15, 1999

Copy/post to appropriate places on & off Internet.
Win human rights in "mental health system"
with Support Coalition International.
web: www.efn.org/~dendron e-mail: dendron@efn.org
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

ATTORNEY GENERAL FOR OREGON CONSIDERS A NEW BILL
TO ORDER COERCED PSYCHIATRIC DRUGGING OF EVEN MORE
PEOPLE LIVING OUT IN THE COMMUNITY.

THIS BILL DESERVES AN INTERVENTION, FROM EVERYONE!

*YOU* CAN E-MAIL OREGON'S ATTORNEY GENERAL *NOW*!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

     *   *   *   ACTION   *   *   *

CONTACT: Oregon Attorney General Hardy Myers

E-MAIL:  hardy.myers@state.or.us

MESSAGE: NO Expansion of Forced Outpatient
Drugging!

         STOP Civil Commitment "Intervention"
Proposal!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

NEWS BRIEFING:

EUGENE, OREGON: Already, some Oregonians living at
home out in the community are court ordered to
take prescribed psychiatric drugs against their
will. Nearly 40 states in the USA, including
Oregon, have quietly passed such "involuntary
outpatient commitment" laws.

There is a push going on throughout the USA and
Canada and UK and elsewhere to expand this
heavy-handed approach.

The Oregon Attorney General is being asked to jump
on this bandwagon. A staff member in his office is
pushing forward a vast expansion of this "chemical
crusade." Support Coalition has obtained a DRAFT
of the bill, dated Feb. 9, 1999.

This bill would allow any two Oregonians to begin
the process of an "Investigation and Intervention"
of any other Oregonian, who is NOT YET
COMMITTABLE.

After an "Investigation," if the subject refuses
to appear before the judge, the subject can be
arrested and brought to the hearing. In fact, the
hearing can even be in their own home.

The judge may then order the subject to follow a
"treatment plan," which could include taking
psychiatric drugs against their will, even while
living out in the community in their own home.

If the subject ignores the plan and an
investigator feels they are "deteriorating," the
subject can be brought back in front of the judge
for a second hearing to see if they meet
commitment criteria yet.

Let us emphasize this point: This bill is really
NOT about people who already meet the current
criteria for commitment. Oregon currently has a
commitment law, and an involuntary outpatient
commitment law.

This proposed law would create a whole new
category of hundreds or thousands of Oregonians,
who psychiatrists predict might *become*
commitable some day. All current studies, however,
show that psychiatrists have zero scientific
ability to predict future dangerousness.

The bill claims to help "establish access to
treatment program and intervention," but in
reality it would mean using the
intimidation-factor of the courts so that a
lot more Oregonians could be frightened into
taking their psychiatric drugs against their will,
even in the sanctity of their own home.

And this is the same government that claims it has
a "War AGAINST Drugs."

Who could be required to appear before a judge in
such an "Intervention"? The net this bill would
create is so huge it could capture a logging
truck. This draft of the bill is made up of 37
pages of bizarrely awkward language. So let us
give one scenario, and see if it could fit you or
someone you care about:

Your family doctor knows you're a fairly recent
psychiatric survivor, and so prescribes a
psychiatric drug. You decline his suggestion (so
in his eyes you're "not receiving...medical
care.").

Your doctor feels your refusal to take prescribed
drugs is for "irrational" reasons (so in his eyes
you fall into the wrong half of an eight-step
"capacity level" chart that looks vaguer than an
astrology reading). Your doctor decides to be on
the safe side, and calls for an "Investigation."

If an "Investigator" can apply the following
loosy-goosy language to you, the judge could order
you to take those drugs:

You show "mental or physical deterioration" such
that "to a reasonable medical probability" you
will "in the foreseeable future" experience
"substantial adverse consequences" to your "health
or safety."

In the eyes of many "mental health professionals"
we know, that's everyone! The average psychiatrist
could apply this test to President Clinton! (Maybe
they should, but that's another story.)

The Attorney General's name is Hardy Myers and we
need to tell him how strongly everyone opposes
this "medication militia model." The staff person
in the Attorney General's office who is the
cheerleader for this monstrosity is Mark Gardner.
In a phone interview, Gardner told us his main
experience was that, "I was once a Circuit Court
judge. I committeed 500 to 1,000 cases." Gardner
has not been on the other side of that gavel,
though.

Gardner admitted that neither he nor the "civil
commitment" committee he worked with did any
in-depth investigation of the issues of forced
psychiatric drugging, what long term use of these
drugs can do to a person, or what possible
alternatives to force might work.

On February 12th, Gardner talked to us about his
latest draft. He disagreed with our
interpretation, because in his view the judge's
order to follow treatment in this "intervention"
isn't really enforceable with physically
forced treatment.

So there you are, arrested and hauled before a
judge (Gardner calls that a "discussion"). The
judge orders you to follow your doctor's treatment
plan, and bangs a gavel. Now how do you think
you're going to feel? For most people, intimidated
and frightened. But Gardner claims that -- if the
person knows the ins and outs of his 37 page law
-- they will understand they can technically
ignore the treatment order as long as they don't
actually become "commitable."

Then why propose this bill at all? Because the
judge's threat -- even if in Gardner's mind it's
an empty threat -- is still a threat. This is
"gavel therapy." I pointed out to Gardner that if
someone commits robbery with an unloaded gun, it's
still theft in the eyes of the law. Gardner's
proposal uses the the dignity and
black robes of the court, as a way to bully
citizens.

"Gardner's Gavel Therapy" doesn't make up for a
lack of housing, a lack of funding for good
services, a lack of peer-run mutual support
programs.

Adding insult to injury, Gardner's law would throw
us a crumb, claiming "mental health client" groups
will be consulted. But we consumer and survivor
advocates are still not in the subcommittee that
advised Gardner. We are all united in opposing
this bill.

Those pushing this proposal are affiliated with
the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI),
a "parents' organization." While there are some
pro-freedom NAMI members, NAMI leaders try to keep
it quiet that NAMI has gotten millions of dollars
directly from psychiatric drug manufacturers.
NAMI's own annual report a few years ago revealed
that more than half of their major corporate
donors were psychiatric drug manufacturers. NAMI
is the voice of the drug industry.

Here in Eugene, we have seen the results of
heavy-handed outpatient drugging being pressured
on people. The family of Ricky Herron, a
35-year-old African American man who died in the
psychiatric system, is suing Lane County Mental
Health. Ricky died after being pressured to stay
on Clozapine, on an outpatient basis in a half-way
house, even though he was enduring horrible side
effects. The family lost the first round, but
appealed and has won a new trial in Federal Court.

Some people choose to take the drugs commonly used
in forced drugging, the "neuroleptics" such as
Thorazine, Haldol, Prolixin, Clozapine, etc. But
others have very rational reasons to refuse,
though their doctors may disagree. The community
and decision-makers should know that recent
medical evidence is showing long term use
of the neuroleptics can actually change the size
and shape of the brain, and these changes are so
big they are visible on CT and MRI scan. (See _The
Lancet_, 9/5/98 and _American Journal of
Psychiatry_ 12/98.)

This neuroleptic-induced brain change can make
quitting really hard. The brain fights back while
on the drug. So when a person quits neuroleptics
-- medical research shows -- those drug-induced
brain changes can become unmasked, resulting in
horrible mental and physical effects lasting for
months. This is then used to justify forcing them
to go back on the drugs. This is called a
"rebound" or "discontinuation syndrome."
Everyone has a right to know about it.

Attorney Generals all over the USA are suing
tobacco companies because they've hooked our
youth. But forced neuroleptics hook people in a
far more insidious way than Joe Camel ever did.

Intervene to stop this bill. Contact Attorney
General Hardy Myers, NOW!

E-mail: hardy.myers@state.or.us

Write: Attorney General Hardy Myers
1162 Court St. NE; Justice Building
Salem, OR  97310-0506

Phone: 1-503-378-4400.

Fax: 1-503-378-4017.

There are other "medication militia" plans waiting
in the wings. Some people want to create a
"Program of Assertive Community Treatment" (PACT)
throughout the USA. PACT already exists in
statewide in six states.

PACT includes at-home psychiatric drug deliveries
-- sometimes every day -- by "mental health
system" workers to assure "medication compliance."
There's more info about PACT on Support
Coalition's web site: www.efn.org/~dendron

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
DENDRITE is an Internet alert system about human
rights in psychiatry, sponsored by Support
Coalition International, sending out notices to
thousands of concerned people, many of whom take
ACTION NOW!

**SNOWBALL** this message: Please copy and forward
to appropriate places on and off the Internet.

Support Coalition International is an independent
non-profit federation of more than 70 groups in 11
countries united to WIN campaigns for human rights
in the "mental health system." For info on Support
Coalition, see the web site: www.efn.org/~dendron


                         

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