Los Angeles Increases Outpatient Involuntary Treatment in Spite of UN Declaring Force “Torture”


Even as we have access to more and more information linking that which gets labeled mental illness to trauma — treatment that exacerbates the trauma response continues to gain legal traction all over the country. This, of course, leads to the epidemic of harm and iatrogenic illness we’re watching happen. (See: Anatomy of an Epidemic.)

Embracing this critique doesn’t mean there is no biological factor to such phenomena…we are holistic beings, so of course there is biology involved too. What it means is the answer does not lie in the biological reductionism that psychiatry espouses and makes up stories about.  Everything matters. Until we start attending to the individual as part of the whole of life, intertwined with everyone and everything, we’ll continue to harm.

So, yes, until we as a society begin to understand the harm we continue to perpetrate in our mental illness system  by picking on our most vulnerable, we will continue to see the epidemic of psychiatric illness because we are directly keeping it alive with such programs.

We need to consider alternatives and to do that we need to have an infrastructure of care that supports alternatives. Right now that does not exist. This doesn’t mean it’s not possible — it means we need to start creating laws and supporting policy that looks at what it means and begins to create it. No small task. The alternatives exist. What we don’t have is a system of care populated by folks who know what they are so that meaningful support can be given to offer such care. Powerful forces (think capitalism and pharma) don’t want it to happen. Let’s make it happen anyway.

Some of those alternatives are listed in drop-down menus at the top of this blog. If you’re curious to what I’m referring to that is a place to start considering alternate ways of viewing the issue of “mental illness” and caring for folks who are labeled. Meaningful alternative care starts with framing the problem differently.

I’m sharing the new item about Los Angeles County and then I’m going to cut and paste a post on forced treatment below.


Los Angeles County launched a small outpatient treatment program soon after Laura’s Law took effect in 2003, but that program was purely voluntary. On Tuesday, the supervisors voted 4 to 0, with Don Knabe absent, to expand the existing outpatient treatment program from 20 to 300 slots and create a team that will reach out to potential patients and manage the court filing process when necessary.

Once the new program is up and running, a family member, treatment provider or law enforcement officer will be able to ask the county to file for a court order requiring someone to undergo treatment. Those who don’t comply can be taken into custody on a 72-hour psychiatric hold. Patients can’t be forced to take medication under the law, although there are other mechanisms for court-ordered medication. (read the rest)

stop forced txAnd below, more information on force with collected links:

UN report states that involuntary treatment of those with psychiatric labels is torture

It’s actually been said before. Maybe this time someone other than the victims will listen.

Human rights are being violated everyday in the USA and all over the world in the name of psychiatry yet hardly anyone cares or believes it’s happening at all.

The UN came out with a report that states that forced psychiatric care passes the threshold of maltreatment to TORTURE.


The present report focuses on certain forms of abuses in health-care settings that may cross a threshold of mistreatment that is tantamount to torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. It identifies the policies that promote these practices and existing protection gaps.

By illustrating some of these abusive practices in health-care settings, the report sheds light on often undetected forms of abusive practices that occur under the auspices of health-care policies, and emphasizes how certain treatments run afoul of the prohibition on torture and ill-treatment. It identifies the scope of State‟s obligations to regulate, control and supervise health-care practices with a view to preventing mistreatment under any pretext.

The Special Rapporteur examines a number of the abusive practices commonly reported in health-care settings and describes how the torture and ill-treatment framework applies in this context. The examples of torture and ill-treatment in health settings discussed likely represent a small fraction of this global problem.

And from the body of the report:

For example, the mandate has held that the discriminatory character of forced psychiatric interventions, when committed against persons with psychosocial disabilities, satisfies both intent and purpose required under the article 1 of the Convention against Torture, notwithstanding claims of “good intentions” by medical professionals (ibid., paras. 47, 48). (the PDF file here)


In a statement to a session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva on March 4, the U.N. Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment of Punishment called for a ban on forced psychiatric interventions including forced drugging, shock, psychosurgery, restraint and seclusion, and for repeal of laws that allow compulsory mental health treatment and deprivation of liberty based on disability, including when it is motivated by “protection of the person or others.” SEE THE PDF

If you’re not aware of just how brutal and coercive psychiatry can be, it’s well worth understanding. Some of it is so extreme it’s hard for those uninitiated to conceive of  but, sadly, it’s very common.  The bottom line is psychiatry, in general, at best, is subtly coercive. Drugs are generally presented as necessary rather than one, often far less than ideal, possibility for treatment. This means one is made to believe through somewhat more subtle coercion that they have no choice but to take drugs with very dangerous adverse effects that include disabling physical illness and very early death.

I’ve written a response to this a few days after I published this piece: In honor of the woman I witnessed being tortured in a psych ward

More on forced treatment on Beyond Meds:

●  That’s crazy: powerful documentary on the coercive nature of psychiatry –  If you’re not aware of just how brutal and coercive psychiatry can be, you should really watch this. This may seem extreme to those who’ve not seen it happening but it’s very common and the bottom line is psychiatry, in general, at best, is subtly coercive. Drugs are generally presented as necessary rather than one, often far less than ideal, possibility for treatment. This means one is made to believe through what amounts to subtle coercion that they have no choice but to take drugs with very dangerous side effects.

●  Forced treatment isn’t the answer

●  Forced Psychotropic Drugs, Assertive Community Treatment, (in-home forced treatment)

●  WNUSP statement on the Implications of the CRPD on Forced Treatment

●  It’s open season on people with psych labels…please take heed and help educate the dangerously ignorant

●  The chill of forced incarceration and psychiatric “care” (otherwise known as gun control??)

●  Demands that it be easier to involuntarily commit the mentally ill are knee-jerk and irrational

●  (against involuntary “treatment”) The reflexive call for fewer liberties: by Glenn Greenwald who remains lucid in the chaos

●  Robert Whitaker’s response to E. Fuller Torrey. About the rationale for forced psychiatric treatment

●  My Forced Psychiatric “Treatment”


Mad in America hosts blogs by a diverse group of writers. These posts are designed to serve as a public forum for a discussion—broadly speaking—of psychiatry and its treatments. The opinions expressed are the writers’ own.


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  1. The average person believes the psychiatric medication, is medication, so people agree with helping the “ill”.
    Until the general population has first hand experience with the medication (seeing is believing), and knows it is not medication, the laws for forced treatment will be passed.

    ” the people who were put in the camps then were Communists”
    “Then they got rid of the sick, the so-called incurables.”
    ” If we had said back then, it is not right when Hermann Göring simply puts 100,000 Communists in the concentration camps, in order to let them die”

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  2. Hi, Monica. I don’t know what the situation is in your state but here in BC there are far more people on “assisted” community treatment orders than could possibly fit in our psych wards. If such patients were to organize (a “Mad Union,” if you will), they would have considerable power. The spectre of hundreds of clients denying medication providers access to their homes at the same time would, I believe, make the establishment sit up and take notice of such demands as assisted tapering programs.

    Because involuntary treatment is happening in people’s homes rather than hospitals now, otherwise concerned people are turning a blind eye. The legal standard for forced treatment should be the same, no matter where the treatment occurs. Community “care” is just a cost-saving measure for the government. There is no fundamental difference between psychiatric incarceration and outpatient commitment except the veneer of civility.

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      • It is a form of “chemical warfare” in the US too, by the top one percent, and those who work for the large corporations (including the religions). Apparently they now have a legal right to rape the children of anyone they please, and all doctors have a legal right to cover up their easily recognized medical mistakes, by coercing and forcing psychiatric treatment onto anyone they want (without informed consent) to cover up their easily recognized iatrogenesis, in order to proactively prevent legitimate (albeit in my case, non-existent) potential malpractice suits.

        As subsequent ethical pastors confessed to me, after being kind enough to read my chronologically typed up medical records and medical research, I dealt with the “dirty little secret of the two original educated professions.” The two original educated professions (in conjunction with pharmaceutical greed and misinformation) has seemingly resulted in the “dirty little secret” going viral in our societies, based upon my research.

        “Dirty little secrets” are “dirty little secrets” innately, because they are morally and ethically wrong.

        Monica, thank you for all that you do, I’m terribly grateful for the information you compile. Forgive me, it’s late, and I’ve yet to read all your links here, so may comment again. But thank you, I completely agree, forced and coerced psychiatric treatments, since they’re not proven to benefit patients, and are known to harm patients, especially in the long run, are immoral and unethical.

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    • How about some protest similar to people who are trying to stop foreclosures? Have supporters gather at the home of a victim and guard them against the assault? It may not be effective for a long time but may at least gather some publicity…

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  3. If a sizable portion of folks placed on outpatient “treatment” striked…and demanded a tapering schedule, that would definitely open some eyes. The idea that the State can mandate long term treatment by forcing a drug that is destructive to health on someone is untenable. A “Mad Union” sounds like a great idea.

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    • Great idea!

      I also think we should demand services for getting off psychiatric medication. In theory for most people it’s their decision to stay on or get off psychiatric meds, but most of the time they don’t get support.

      I wonder if the lack of access to an individual tapering schedule is an issue of disability rights and equality rights.

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      • Unfortunately, being yoked with a psychiatric label is pretty much the end of a person’s civil rights. As a Canadian, I can be stripped of my Constitutional right to security of the person and my Constitutional right not to be arbitrarily detained.

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    • The people in the psychiatric system that I know believe 100% that they are ill and need medication.

      This belief was learned from past experiences of withdrawing from the psychiatric meds-drugs, with bad outcomes . They took the withdrawal reaction as proof the psychiatric “doctor” was right, they are defective, when it is really is

      (Robert Whitaker)
      7. Drug-induced supersensitivity psychosis

      In the late 1970s, Canadian investigators identified the biological changes caused by antipsychotics that lead to the high relapse rates. Because the drugs dampen dopamine activity, the brain tries to compensate by becoming “supersensitive” to dopamine. In particular, the drugs trigger an increase in the density of dopamine receptors. This perturbation in dopamine function, over the long term, makes the patients more biologically prone to psychosis and to worse relapses upon drug withdrawal. The researchers concluded: “Neuroleptics can produce a dopamine supersensitivity that leads to both dyskinetic and psychotic symptoms. An implication is that the tendency toward psychotic relapse in a patient who has developed such a supersensitivity is determined by more than just the normal course of the illness.”

      a) Dopaminergic Supersensitivity After Neuroleptics. Muller, P. Psychopharmacology 60 (1978):1-11.

      b) Neuroleptic-Induced Supersensitivity Psychosis. Chouinard, G. American Journal of Psychiatry, 135 (1978):1409-1410.

      c) Neuroleptic-Induced Supersensitivity Psychosis. Chouinard, G. American Journal of Psychiatry, 137 (1980):16-20.

      As time passes , more of their brain is lost from the poisons they willingly take. Less intelligence, less ability to reason.

      Only real doctors can stop this crime. but a form of a Code of Silence occurs with doctors.

      The only hope is the money being spent by the government has to be accounted for . The tax payer that pays for this fraud (drugs for life) will get fed up one day. I hope.

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  4. I was out shopping yesterday and the bold headline on The Australian newspaper read;

    A Crime against Humanity.

    Of course the article was in reference to the shooting down of flight MH 17. When I saw it though I pointed to it and commented to my friend that at last something was going to be done about Psychiatry. We don’t need to be looking to Ukraine for this sort of news, it’s happening in our own back yards.

    CTOs’ have “exploded” here in Australia as well. I have heard mumbling about it from those in the profession, but little is being done.

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  5. I am uncertain how to help someone close to me here in Oregon in the coastal town of Reedsport with a population of 5000. Her doctor of 25 years for the first time presented her with a form designed for controlled substances like morphine. In the place where one would insert the name of a controlled substance the doctor inserted clonazepam and wellbutrin which she has been on for a long time and the form that he tried to make her sign also states that he is the one and only doctor that can prescribe for her. He has been repeatedly successful in preventing her from changing to another physician and since she moved 30 miles away he has produced this form for her to sign. I have sat in at appointments she had with this doctor at her request and have witnessed his manipulative ,controlling, sadistic, greed driven ,maneuvers with my own eyes. For one thing, he was extra billing her insurance for unreceived services.
    She had to demand her right and wait fearfully to get a new physician in Reedsport. She was assigned a physician’s assistant who continues to make life difficult for her .She is afraid to elaborate on the last abusive physician’s maneuvers as instinctively she knows they will just cover up for him and retaliate. It looks to me that they are trying to set her up for some kind of forced “med” scenario.She has been badly abused in the past by her family and these doctors continue it . I just wonder is there any justice in this world? and I don’t know what to do to help her with these insane authorities. She is on SSI. Do we need an underground railroad? DUH!

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    • We do need an underground railroad at this point…yet I hope that some of what we’re doing in terms of education might change that need. I’m sorry I don’t have suggestions from afar…how to disentangle oneself from the behemoth system and all it’s tendrils is unique for everyone. I’m very sorry about your friend. Just having someone who cares is a great help. The really bad part is with clonazepam she is truly dependent on the system as any sort of abrupt withdrawal is frankly dangerous so she needs them, if for nothing else, but to get enough drug to free herself from it safely and slowly…again, I’m sorry. I’m glad she has an empathetic friend.

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      • some people are able to find non-threatening prescribers to do that sort of appropriate withdrawal, but given she is on SSI that becomes extremely difficult and often impossible. I know you probably know this already Fred, but I wanted to point it out to others. Some folks do not have the resources to get anything resembling safe or at the very least non-threatening care. A lot of people can’t imagine how awful that is…and that is part of the problem. Extraction from the system becomes nightmarishly unlikely for some too large percentage of people. And this too, is why I talk a lot about the absence of any alternative infrastructure of care. These folks have nowhere to turn right now.

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      • Duh is right on target! This need you speak of can only go up with time given present trends. When it comes to states without Involuntary Outpatient Commitment, misleadingly called Assisted Outpatient Treatment, there are only 5 free states left. California, one of the most populous states in union, joins that other most populous state, New York, in passing laws that violate people’s right to liberty and security of person. These laws are going to result in serious injury and death on an even larger scale than we’ve currently got. By providing transport, refuge, and safety to people fleeing chemical imprisonment people could be preserving health and saving lives. Something to think about.

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        • I wrote an e-mail to my local psychiatric service asking if there are Dr’s who will supervise people coming off their drugs.

          It is a start, doing some research and letting Dr’s know that this service is needed.

          If a Dr or two is identified then they can be promoted in informal networks

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          • it’s certainly a good conversation to get started…the problem is most psychiatrists think they know how to help people get off drugs but they really have no idea how much they need to know…so that’s another thing to learn how to talk about…what do they really know?

            most serious withdrawal issues are misunderstood to be “underlying illness” which means these doctors just stop withdrawal because they don’t know what they’re seeing and think that the very serious withdrawal issues are psychiatric.

            it’s a serious problem really.

            These are a couple of articles I’ve written about this:

            A plea to prescribing physicians and psychiatrists: please help us heal

            and then this too…speaks to this issue in general…

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  6. It is torture, read this story that will be lived by many more in LA

    “Marion was offered but refused medication. But Bellevue Dr. Robert LaFargue wrote out an order authorizing him to be injected with Haldol, an antipsychotic, and Ativan, a tranquilizer, and stating that, from then on, Marion was to take another drug, Depakote, orally, on threat of injection.

    In his testimony, Marion described being strapped down to a gurney, a nurse hovering over him with a needle, then injecting him, “like in ‘The Cuckoo’s Nest,’ ” referring to Ken Kesey’s novel about a psychiatric hospital from hell. Comparing himself to “Louima,” as in police brutality victim Abner Louima, Marion said, “They used a toilet plunger for him and a needle for me.”

    “The jury ultimately voted to award Marion $750,000 in damages for being held against his will for six days, $250,000 for being illegally injected with drugs and $1 for having to orally take medication. ”


    Most people of course never see a dime no matter how badly psychiatry abuses them.

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  7. It is because I know my psyche doctors are full of shit that I am sane, and somewhat healthy. The majority of psychiatrist belong in jail for medical fraud, and for tag team slavery with big pharma, and the high tech harassment sources that bug people inside their heads.

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