Senator Wants to Yank Involuntary Treatment Requirements from Murphy’s Bill

Rob Wipond
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Calling the legislation “draconian,” Democratic Senator Chris Murphy has stated that the involuntary treatment requirements should be reshaped or removed from Republican Congressman Tim Murphy’s proposed Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act.

“For years, the biggest sticking point for the House’s Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act has been the expansion of involuntary outpatient treatment,” reported The Hill. “That idea has created a sharp divide between mental health groups and has prevented the bill from advancing.”

The Hill reported that in a Facebook chat, Chris Murphy said any provision that would withhold funds from states without involuntary treatment laws was problematic. “Rep. (Tim) Murphy’s bill requires every state to have laws requiring some form of court ordered outpatient treatment and a lower bar for inpatient commitment,” Chris Murphy said. “We are trying to find a less draconian way to go.”

Dem senator eyes changes to ‘draconian’ provision in mental health bill (The Hill, May 21, 2015)

40 COMMENTS

  1. I do so hope they make involuntary treatment illegal, since many people do not react well to the psychiatric drugs. Some people actually are made “psychotic” by the neuroleptic drugs, and forcing these people to take more of these drugs results in more and worse “psychosis” and other adverse symptoms, via the central symptoms of neuroleptic induced anticholinergic intoxication syndrome or neuroleptic induced deficit syndrome. Which are not DSM billable “mental illness,” so these neuroleptic induced syndromes get misdiagnosed as either “bipolar” or “schizophrenia.”

    • Someone Else,

      I notice you make a statement similar to the one you make here over and over and over and over again whenever this topic comes up, and I understand why and I admire your persistence.

      As a family member of someone’s whose symptoms worsened after medication was introduced, I also just do not understand how drug treatment can be involuntary when there are not long term studies to back up its efficacy. How can ‘experimental’ or ‘uncertain’ treatment be forced? I believe that there are many, many different reasons for psychosis, and like you , I believe in some cases, the medications can make ‘brief psychotic episodes’ or other ‘breakdowns’ morph into a chronic psychotic illness for some? many? susceptible people. I believe in some cases for some people medications change people from being ill to being severely ill.

      Because of this, I think we should narrow the focus of our objections to try to require that `treatments such as drugs and ECT that can cause grave harm’, can only be given under conditions of full informed consent. We should focus on the research as that is what would be mostly listened to. If there are incapacity issues for a very severely ill person, I believe most people’s loved ones would not force drug or ECT if they were fully informed of the research, and if their loved one was somewhere safe. This way ‘time’ would solve problems for some people as people figure out what to do -e.g for brief psychotic episodes. People could write up contracts for future directives to their loved ones……
      ……it comes down to sanctuaries, sanctuaries, sanctuaries…..at this point I do not care if they are in or out of hospitals as long as harmful treatments are not forced.

      I know this would not be considered the perfect answer for many, but at least it would greatly reduce long lasting harm, and could

      • Sa,

        Forgive me for saying the same thing numerous times, I know saying “the same thing over and over again is the definition of insanity.” But that’s also what George W. Bush and our mainstream media did after 9.11.2001. We’re actually living within an insane society. One our founding father’s warned us to not allow to happen, to boot, and as someone from an ethical American banking family, it’s one of which I’m aware.

        As I’m researching and writing my book I am trying to focus only on the scientific evidence, but the more I research, the more proof I find that the antipsychotics actually cause the schizophrenia symptoms. And Sandra did confess that the psychiatric industry was aware of these facts. And I find this problematic, given the fact my doctors denied this reality.

        And since I agree with you,”treatments such as drugs and ECT that can cause grave harm’, [thus should] only be given under conditions of full informed consent.” But the psychiatric industry is not currently giving this full and informed consent to their patients, and actually denying it.

        Especially, since Sandra confessed that the psychiatric industry does indeed know the antipsychotic drugs do indeed cause the symptoms of schizophrenia, via the above syndromes I pointed out.

        I find this problematic, so I’m trying to point it out, repeatedly. Forgive my desire to protect child abuse victims from being misdiagnosed with “mental illnesses” because it’s profitable for psychiatrists to lie, defame, and tranquilize victims of child abuse for profit. Which, according to John Read’s research, seems to be the actual most common etiology of “schizophrenia” today.

        • Someone Else

          I think you misunderstood me ….I was trying to let you know that I TOTALLY UNDERSTAND why you keep repeating this because I have had the same experience and I feel I keep repeating and repeating about informed consent!! So don’t apologize for repeating it – I just wanted you to know that I hear you!!!

  2. I think there should be more discussion on MIA about how it happens that such a bill as Murphy’s has made so much headway. I don’t understand why people are concentrating on the involuntary outpatient commitment part of it, since almost all states already have IOC anyway. This kind of move to take away our rights is happening because SAMHSA has set up an Astroturf “movement” whose main thrust is to discourage people from fighting the system. So of course our rights will be taken away. As Frederick Douglass said, “Power concedes nothing without a struggle. It never did and it never will.” It was true in the 19th century, and it is true now, and it will always be true. If you don’t fight for your rights you will lose them, especially if you take money from the people who are taking away the rights we should be demanding.

    • There was recently a piece on Democracy Now! about the black women being killed by police and one story was actually very striking also from the psychiatric surviviour’s perspective.The woman who was shot dead by the police (they were called to her home by the “mental health professionals” to force to hospital) was also a peer. This is what working in a system gets you – your wishes about treatment are disregarded anyway, the “good professionals” call killer cops on you because you dare to disagree with them and you end up dead.

      A corrupt oppressive system cannot be changed from within and the only time it does it is because people in power realize that the guillotines are about to be brought in and make a smart choice.

    • Mostly because the media, with the help of the TAC and other industry front groups, continues to portray anyone with a “mental illness” as a danger, and blames every shooting on “mental illness” (unless it’s committed by a person of color, in which case it is caused by “thugs” or “terrorism”). Getting the counter-narrative into the media seems like Job One.

      —- Steve

    • SO PLEASE CALL SENATORS NOW………… everyone here….. if we don’t speak up against this……. then it is going to make our lifes a living hell….. call all the congressman and senators….. tell that these medications cause horrible effects on the body…. brain damage… brain shrinkage….. twitching… hair loss…………… you name………………. call now……… please this literally scares the hell out of me…. please, please, please, if we all call it should help fight this………….. PLEASE! i have already called 6 senators…. i have been really, really busy lately but tomorrow i plan to call more………….. PLEASE call

  3. Does involuntary treatment refer to having to take medication, or having to go to some form of therapy, or both? I have no experience with this process.

    It seems that it might be difficult for people who are ordered to undergo treatment be emotionally invested in the process. The treatment process would usually be viewed as a coercive parent/authority figure and less benefit would result.

    • It’s about pills and possibly ECT. You can’t do any other therapy against someone’s will – like what, you’ll force me to tell you about my childhood? Of course I’m not going to do that and refuse to speak at all or I’ll f** with you and invent stuff.

      It’s essentially legalized torture.

      • I thought it might mean that someone could be mandated to attend an outpatient treatment program (including psychotherapy) or face consequences like prison, fines, etc.

        As for the forced medication or ECT, I thought that could only happen with a court order where the torturers (psychiatrists) go to court to try to override the person’s disagreement. I know this happens but not sure of the frequency.

        • Still I think it makes no sense. So you force some to go to psychotherapy – he/she will go and pretend to participate. It’s only going to be a huge waste of everyone’s time. These things can only be voluntary.

        • I worked briefly doing involuntary hospitalization evaluations. My greatest service was keeping people from being committed by doing emergency therapy in the ER. Almost every person who was committed was put onto psychiatric drugs, and that’s basically all they were offered. Any therapy that happened was post-discharge. After discharge, the “clients” had case managers whose main job appeared to be to make sure people “took their meds” and stayed out of trouble. People with “bipolar” or “schizophrenia” diagnoses got no therapy whatsoever. I always tried to diagnose people with “PTSD” or “Adjustment Disorder” so they’d have to get them some kind of talking therapy.

          There were also a handful who were discharged with the stipulation that they had to keep taking their drugs, and if they stopped, they could be immediately apprehended and detained in the hospital. There was never a clause saying that if they didn’t attend therapy they’d be re-detained. The focus of involuntary detention was almost 100% forced drugging. There was really no other option offered up, unless the client was educated enough to object and ask for alternatives. I am sure it is even worse today than it was in 1995. That’s how the system “works.”

          —- Steve

    • Talk therapy is actually a thing of the past. You can go to a community mental health center and ask to be set up with a therapist and they look at you as if you have a horn coming out of your forehead. Almost no one in these centers knows how to do any kind of talk therapy and it’s difficult as hell to access it if there is someone who can do it. The staff in these centers seem to do everything they can to keep from helping people in need. I know because I was dealing with an issue that I needed an objective ear to talk to about. So I went to the community mental health center in my city and made my request. It took them three weeks to triage me to see if I really needed any services in the first place. I went three times to see what was taking so long and they’d tell me to go home and they would call me. I never got a call in all that time. By knowing someone who knew the person who oversees all the community mental health clinics in the state I got this person’s phone number and made a complaint. Within half an hour of making the complaint to her the director of the clinic called me to see if she could triage me over the phone! Then, I was sent to talk with a psychiatrist for the actual decision as to what to do with me would be. I asked for a talk therapist. She stated that she could give me a script for drugs and I stated that I didn’t want any drugs I just wanted someone to listen to me in an objective manner. She sat there with this dumbfounded look on her face and said that if I didn’t want the drugs she didn’t know how to help me!!!!!!! After weeks of struggling with them they finally came up with an intern who was getting ready to leave to go somewhere else to work and she volunteered to do six sessions of therapy with me at 45 minutes each session. She wasn’t that helpful but since the person seeking the therapy is the one who is supposed to do the work I was able to accomplish what I needed because I had someone to listen to me talk about the issue and work through it as I heard myself talk about it.

      So, there is little if no talk therapy available to anyone out in the community. The only treatment if this bill passes will be massive doses of toxic drugs, period. In my state if you don’t do the mandated drugs they drag you to court in front of a judge and a psychiatrist gets up there and testifies about how you’re a danger to yourself and others and into the locked ward you go, zippity de do da!!!! It’s only supposedly for a seven day evaluation but somehow when that psychiatrist goes back to testify as to what he thinks you need , walla you need to stay longer for treatment because they found things wrong with your thinking!

      It’s totally just one big racket to keep everyone involved with the system in jobs and salaries. It’s disgusting.

      • Judges in these cases rubberstamp everything the psychiatrists say. In my case I was so drugged up in front of the judge (hearing took place at the “hospital”) that I don’t even remember it occurring at all – I was informed that it happened when I went to complain about not having a hearing. I wonder if someone’s unconscious and strapped to the bed they also go along with the hearing.

        The “advocate” who was supposed to represent me didn’t speak a word of English (it was in Austria) and didn’t think this may be a problem, though my German is rudimentary, especially when high on benzos and whatever they pumped me with (which of course is not stated clearly in the documents). Later she told me that I should not pursue charges for anything because the psychiatrists “are good people” and she “knows them well and knows they meant to help”.

        It’s a really bad joke.

  4. Damn — Murphy vs. Murphy! Sounds like something someone would be selling tickets for…so, at first glance it looks like we finally have a Democrat with at least a modest sense of consistency.

    But at second glance this is good news/bad news. Certainly killing forced outmate “treatment” would be a major victory. On the other hand, both Murphy’s, according to the “Hill” article, are motivated by a desire to get a “mental health” bill passed and start doling out funds to the psych industry. (That Connecticut Murphy is willing to drop the involuntary outpatient requirement may be a testament to the growing power of MIA types to exert some influence on lawmakers.)

    A good strategy would be to pressure Democrats (particularly) in states which are likely to oppose involuntary outmate “treatment” to hold the line against the bill based on that; this would probably kill the bill since those states wouldn’t receive funding thus would be less likely to support it.

    Republicans should maybe be appealed to here simply based on so-called “big government” issues involving the expenditure of taxpayer money for questionable/fraudulent purposes. Plus right-leaning libertarian types should be receptive of Szaszian arguments.

    Maybe someone could research a position on whether our best strategy would be to lobby democrats to vote for a somewhat eviscerated bill, or to use this debate by lawmakers as a way of exposing larger contradictions involving the legitimacy of psychiatry and the constitutionality of any forced medical or psychiatric procedure. Could somebody run down what the supposedly non-coercive parts of the bill provide for?

    And, while I would never suggest anyone get a Facebook account (for what should be obvious reasons), maybe those who already are on FB with no intention of leaving could chat up the Connecticut Murphy about the issues involved here.

    • Mr.BetterLife,

      If one is involuntarily committed (at least in MI), s/he still has the right to refuse drugs, or any other “treatment” for that matter. If the attending doc is adamant that drugs (or ECT or whatever) are necessary, they can take the case to court and pursue a mandatory order, in which case the individual is forced into submitting to whatever “treatment” might be prescribed. If it goes to that extent (court), it may risk one leaving the hospital with a continuing order for outpatient “treatment” (e.g., drugs/depot injections, ECT).

      Liz

      • Depending on the state that could vary. Where I am involuntary commitment has always meant that if you refuse drugs you can automatically be forcibly injected or otherwise disciplined, unless there’s been some big change over the past decade, which I highly doubt.

      • “s/he still has the right to refuse drugs, or any other “treatment” for that matter”

        Which remains largely theoretical because there are all kinds of loopholes that allow them with injecting you with whatever in case of “emergency” and stuff. Different places have all the lovely laws on the books but paper can take anything – practice is another matter entirely.

      • I’ve been incarcerated in two different psych units in Michigan, last was in 2008. While it is true that they need a court order to force “maintenance treatment”, E.G. schedule doses every day with the rationalization of treating an illness, they do not need such an order for “emergency treatment”, which is any time a member of the staff says you’re being unruly or agitated. If you’re agitated and especially if the police are involved, you’re likely to get your first injection on the way to the hospital, or immediately when you get to the emergency room. They only need the court order if they want to continue the drugging as part of your ongoing “treatment”.

  5. “any provision that would withhold funds from states without involuntary treatment laws was problematic.”

    Btw, how can you make it more clear that it’s not about anyone’s health when you put in a provision like a bill? Let’s forget for a second about the whole problem of the “mental healthcare” as it is and assume psychiatry is medicine and they really want to help “mentally ill”. In this case a logical conclusion is that if a “mentally ill” person in need lives in a state that does not require them to be forcibly treated cannot receive treatment at all. So you’d rather have all these people be damned if you can’t get your way 100% rather than have at least some positive impact. It’s so pathetic.

    This is so clearly about social control and authoritarianism it’s painful to read.

  6. I hope everyone concerned will do what I did and call Chris Murphy’s office to commend him and urge further common sense in m.h. legislation. The number of his Wash. D.C. office is 202-224-4041. Don’t bend the ear of the aide who answers with long horror stories (we all have them!), just say you are calling to urge Murphy to continue his stand. Also, call your own senators and reps to urge them to support Chris Murphy, not Tim Murphy.

  7. actually you should contact ever OTHER congressman and senator who is more likely to listen to you rather than the guy who knows it is a lie anyway……….. contact ever senator and congressman you can…………….. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE if we all fight this together maybe we have a chance of fighting this…………………………………… this thing is pure evil…………. also if psyhcatry was right……. and this stuff really did cure us and make us happy and make our lives completely alright…………. then why has no one i know ever been cured on this stuff…. with did the guy in the hospital getting ETC look like he was just beaten up and said “i hate this” if these tortures drugs really worked would we all really be begging for them? instead it looks like everyone with a mental illnese knows how horrible they really are…………… like a person getting diabetes medication never goes……….. hey wait no way man that stuff makes me feel terrible……….. or does horrible things to me………. no they want to take there medication………… but this stuff causes you to gain 400 pounds…………. lose your hair…….. start twitching…………… uncontrollable pacing……………. aches and pains in your body………. a horrible almost sick like feeling in me of being drowsy………… not a good drowsy…. a sick feeling drowsy……….. brain zaps……………………… the list goes on and on and on……………. oh yeah antisypchotics are now prove to cause 5 to 10 percent brain shrinkage……. if you got into a fight with someone and punched them enough to cause 5 to 10 percent brain damage in there frontal lobe no the less (higher functioning area of the brain) you would go to prison…………………….. CALL ALL OTHER SENATORS AND CONGRESSMAN THOUGH…………. TIM MURPHY IS NOT GOING TO LISTEN BUT OTHERS MIGHT……………. tell them it would be impossible for you to live as a happy person on these drugs…………. tell them you would have a hard time going to work or college being so doped up………………………… tell them that you are no threat and don’t want to hurt anyone…………………… tell them that study’s show people with mental illness are no more likely to hurt anyone than someone who doesn’t have a mental illness

    oh yeah how does being fat, bald in pain, dopey, brain damaged……………. and BREAST GROWTH in men make you happier? your guess is as good as mine…. psychiatry is NUTS…. actually it is plain and simply EVIL

  8. oh yeah your right………… i am never given therapy anymore either……….. i am just given a case manager…….. who insults me everytime i see her…………….. looks down on me………. judges me……….. says things that are insulting and untrue of me………….. doesn’t show up for appointments……………… plays mind games with me…………. essentially makes MONEY OFF FROM TREATING ME LIKE DIRT………………………………………….. to hell with mental health……… it is mental hell

    it is CORRUPT AND EVIL

    i do get better help from calling crisis lines to be honest………. people who are just volunteers…….. who CARE…………. who are willing to talk to me……. rather than just harrase me about medications………. i am even told not to call the line to the mental health agency i go too…. everytime i have in the past i was told i was wasting resources….. to only call during official hours………….. even when i am on the phone with my case manager and she is the one who calls me………… if i bring up something that is troubling me she will be like “i have to go”

    she has also accused me of being a paedophile on many occasions… when i told her i slept with someone………….. i don’t know why she does that………. I HAVE NEVER SLEPT WITH A KID IN MY LIFE…………. she’s nuts…………………… when i first started seeing her she asked me “have you ever had a girlfriend?” like how insulting is that………… she acts like she is terrified of me…….. but i have never done anything to hurt her………… she just says nasty things to me all the time…….. I HATE HER