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Another victory against forced electroshock. Simone D. wins!

by David W. Oaks last modified 2007-08-30 11:33

28 August 2007 update: The attorneys for “Simone D.” announced today that her planned forced electroshock in a New York State psychiatric institution has been halted because of a new court ruling they won this morning! MindFreedom had issued a human rights alert to say “no” to Simone D.’s forced electroshock. Next step: End all involuntary electroshock in New York State!

Another victory against forced electroshock. Simone D. wins!

Display of electroshock in use (not Simone).

Update, 28 August 2007:


Nearly 30% of the total nursing-home population is receiving antipsychotic drugs, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, known as CMS. In a practice known as “off label” use of prescription drugs, patients can get these powerful medicines whether they are psychotic or not. CMS says nearly 21% of nursing-home patients who don’t have a psychosis diagnosis are on antipsychotic drugs.


That is what happened to a woman listed in New York state health department inspection records as Resident #18. The 84-year-old Alzheimer’s patient, who lives at the Orchard Manor nursing home in Medina, N.Y., likes to wander and roll her wheelchair around her unit, according to a report filed earlier this year, and sometimes she nervously taps her foot.

To address her behavior, which was considered disruptive, Resident #18 was given a powerful antipsychotic drug called Seroquel, a drug approved for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Resident #18 is not psychotic and Seroquel — like other atypical antipsychotics — carries a “black box” warning that elderly dementia patients using it face a higher risk of death.

In recent years, Medicaid has spent more money on antipsychotic drugs for Americans than on any other class of pharmaceuticals — including antibiotics, AIDS drugs or medicine to treat high-blood pressure.

Prescription Abuse Seen In U.S. Nursing Homes

Powerful Antipsychotics Used to Subdue Elderly; Huge Medicaid Expense

Wall Street Journal article from Dec, 2007

excerpted above


Outpatient Forced Psychiatry by David W. Oaks — last modified 2007-01-10 19:47
More and more citizens are required to take super-powerful psychiatric drugs against their will while living in their own homes out in the community. Today 42 US states allow courts to order “involuntary outpatient commitment.” An increasing number of countries are using “community treatment orders” and other techniques that make our homes into wards, our neighborhoods into psychiatric institutions.
USDOJ INVESTIGATION, PATTON STATE HOSPITAL by Mike Tierney — last modified 2007-09-05 18:24
A USDOJ investigation report on PATTON STATE HOSPITAL. was issued in May of 2006. If you think that the death in Georgia was unconscionable, just read for yourself the findings of the USDOJ.
Psychiatric Abuse of Walter Vetsch by David W. Oaks — last modified 2006-11-23 12:14
MindFreedom member Walter Vetsch has chronicled his ordeals as a college student in the 1960’s who was tortured by psychiatrists for seven years after the university psychiatrist said he was “schizophrenic” and ordered his commitment.
Introduction to Involuntary Outpatient Commitment by margit — last modified 2008-01-16 13:25
An MFI introduction written in 1999 about forced psychiatric drugging on an outpatient commitment.
Neuroleptics by Mike Tierney — last modified 2007-01-10 20:46
Information about traditional and atypical neuroleptic drugs, also known as “anti-psychotics.”
Psychiatric Polypharmacy: A Word of Caution by Mark T — last modified 2007-02-23 17:57
An Investigation by Protection & Advocacy, Inc. into deaths related to the combined use of multiple psychiatric medications. The administration of aggressive polypharmaceutical regimens in these deaths, according to the agency, was not supported by the clinical presentation of the patients, nor by the medical literature. The report, released in June, 2004, concluded that inadequacy of clinical responses resulted from a lack of recognition of the precipitous deterioration of each patient. In each case, inappropriate diagnostic conclusions undermined the potential for attending to the causes of the patient’s deteriorating medical condition.

New Social-Issues Coalition Reaches Out to Presidential Candidates America Forward, a nonpartisan alliance of some 60 organizations across the country, went public last week with its call to “presidential candidates of both parties to support the innovative solutions being developed outside of Washington that achieve results in addressing America’s greatest domestic challenges.”


Cochaired by CPL director David Gergen; Vanessa Kirsch, founder and president of the social venture firm New Profit, Inc.; Timberland president and CEO Jeff Swartz; and Mark Nunnelly, managing director of Bain & Co., America Forward is looking to increase government’s awareness of and support for the efforts of social entrepreneurs working outside of government channels—often in community-based nonprofits—to address social ills and strengthen civic engagement.


CIT training allegedly trains law enforcement officers to assess “mental illness.” When they feel they are interacting with someone they consider might be “mentally ill” they then practice techniques designed to connect with the person and convince them to go with the officers to some sort of “treatment.”

That leads to the next problems I have with CIT.

  • First, officers aren’t qualified to “assess” based upon 40 hours of training. In my opinion, not even psychiatrists are able to assess to the extent that two of them will agree. Assessment is a judgment call and I am very uncomfortable with law enforcement passing judgment on people in this manner.
  • Secondly, I don’t believe in “mental illness” and the fact that officers will be judging and then directing people to “treatment” is a dangerous use of implied authority as coercion.

Opinion: Psychiatric Survivor Inside a Police Training Conference

by David W. Oaks last modified 2007-09-03 18:56

An anonymous psychiatric survivor who is a MindFreedom member attended a major national conference about training the police for dealing with citizens labeled with mental health problems. In this exclusive inside view, the author warns of a rising “paramilitary” between police and the mental health system. This psychiatric survivor concludes, “Be afraid, be very afraid!”


Abuse and Neglect Leads to Another Death at State Mental Hospital

In June DN brought you coverage of the investigation in to the death of Esmin Green, a patient at a mental health facility in New York. Unfortunately, another case with somewhat similar circumstances has turned up in Goldsboro North Carolina. This incident took place in April of this year, about a month prior to Green’s death.

The hospital’s security video recorded Sabock’s care from April 28, when he choked on his medicine while a nurse stood by without helping him, and through his day without food until his death from a heart problem. Health care technicians, according to the report, are seen on the recording watching television through the night, playing cards, and talking on a cell phone while they were in the room with Sabock.


Hospital video shows no one helped dying woman

Monday, June 30th 2008, 11:32 PM

A shocking video shows a woman dying on the floor in the psych ward at Kings County Hospital, while people around her, including a security guard, did nothing to help.

“There’s a clear possibility of criminal wrongdoing with regard to recordkeeping, and that has to be investigated.”

Green, 49, taken to the unit for “agitation,” keels over out of her chair at 5:32a.m., according to the time stamp on the video. She had been sitting about 3feet from an observation window. Two other patients were in the room.

Green is lying facedown on the floor, her legs splayed, when a security guard strolls by at 5:53 a.m., looks at her for about 20 seconds and then walks away.

She is writhing on the floor, thrashing her legs, about 6 a.m., when her medical chart contends she was “awake, up and about, went to the bathroom.”

A federal suit filed last year in Brooklyn alleged neglect and abuse of mental patients at the hospital. The suit sparked an investigation by the Brooklyn U.S. attorney’s civil rights unit before the June 19 death.


Some of the comments posted with this article –

TomTheL Jul 4, 2008 9:57:13 AM
hiflierct : Reading what you and how you write makes me confident that you have never ever in your life saved somebody. Neither in your country nor abroad. I am positive that you – like Kelly Pickler – think that Europe is a country. I doubt that you would find either France or Europe in a map. Back to the point: If America is so aware of saving the world, why don’t you save the people in need in your hospital?

cabrini180 Jul 9, 2008 11:41:39 AM
If you are ill, do not go to a municipal hospital. They will allow you to die on the floor.

Kings County Doc Jul 14, 2008 8:13:04 PM
Said it before, and I say it again: The direcor of HHC/NYC(Mr Aviles), the directror, assistant director, chief nurse, and director of the medical staff @KCHC should be terminated for cause. They were all very well paid to monitor, evaluate, and direct patient care at county. They clearly failed and a young woman died for it. If they were not aware of the conditions, they should have been. NYHHC and KCHC have been political patronage plums forever. Votes and contibutions trump patient care 100% of the time!

Shocking Neglect at NY Hospital

Early last week we learned of the death of Esmin Green at Kings County Hospital in New York. Green spent 24 hours in the lobby waiting to receive treatment prior to her death. The hospital had been sued in 2007 and was investigated by the US Attorney’s Civil Rights Office in Brooklyn prior to Green’s death on June 19.


“There’s a clear possibility of criminal wrongdoing with regard to recordkeeping, and that has to be investigated.”

Suit Filed Over Conditions at NY Psychiatric Hospital

New York Lawyer
January 5, 2007

By Tom Perrotta
New York Law Journal

A lawsuit filed yesterday in Brooklyn federal court alleges that the Kings County Hospital subjects its psychiatric patients to inhumane treatment and squalid conditions.

The complaint, filed by Mental Hygiene Legal Services with the help of the New York Civil Liberties Union and Kirkland & Ellis, accuses the hospital of violating the U.S. Constitution and state law.

It describes the hospital as “a chamber of filth, decay, indifference, and danger where individuals . . . are subjected to overcrowding and squalid conditions often accompanied by physical abuse and unnecessary and punitive injections of mind-altering drugs.”

The Corporation Counsel’s Office said it is evaluating the suit and declined further comment.

The case was assigned to Eastern District Judge Allyne R. Ross. A conference was scheduled for Aug. 28 before Magistrate Judge Kiyo A. Matsumoto.