9 Questions the US Senate Should Ask Dr. McCance-Katz


Next week should be interesting, perhaps revolutionary, for those of us who care about human rights, disability and mental health. I heard from leaders at the National Council for Independent Living (NCIL) that the US Senate HELP Committee will be quizzing Dr. Ellie McCance-Katz, the psychiatrist appointed by President Trump to a powerful new mental health position in the federal government.

This new job is commonly now known as “Mental Health Czar” — if you are new to this little-known controversy, see my blog from a few weeks ago.

9 Questions that Should Be Asked that Haven’t Been

Technically, Dr. McCance-Katz is being recommended by Pres. Trump to be Assistant Secretary for the huge US Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA). Mental health agencies are mainly asking about her positions regarding “recovery” and “peers,” important topics for sure, but here are some tougher questions:

  1. Do you support or oppose SAMHSA Involuntary Outpatient Commitment (IOC), such as court-ordered coerced psychiatric drugging? (Yes, in the last few years, some of your US taxpayer millions have gone to support court-ordered psychiatric procedures, mainly to enforce involuntary drugging. This has been done for decades by laws changing quietly on the state level. Now your US federal government has thrown its weight behind this atrocity.)
  2. If you do support this, then about how many more million Americans do you feel should get court-ordered drugging? (Fanatics for IOC, which they call Assisted Treatment to hide what it really does, are a bit shy about the number of Americans they would like to see involuntarily drugged.)
  3. Do you endorse the current use of federal money for IOC? (Let us hear about how many millions have already been spent by federal agencies to promote IOC. Easy enough to find out. How many more millions are planned for, how many more millions would Dr. McCance-Katz want?)
  4. Do you admit that court-ordered involuntary electroshock on an outpatient basis can be done? (Find this incredible? Very occasionally, on the state level, IOC has reached the bizarre extreme of court-ordered involuntary outpatient electroshock, where the subject has to report regularly to a local hospital for another forced outpatient electroshock or face re-institutionalization. For more proof, use your web search engine for these phrases: ray sandford electroshock, elizabeth ellis electroshock. An attorney confirmed federal support for IOC could conceivably mean more forced outpatient electroshock. Even one more American forced shock is wrong. Outpatient forced shock is horrible. So is inpatient forced shock, which has gone on continuously in the USA and most countries for decades, including now!)
  5. What is the long-term impact of psychiatric drugs?
  6. Did you know that neuroleptic psychiatric drugs, commonly called antipsychotics, are often used during IOC?
  7. Did you know that infants and children in the USA and globally are given off-label neuroleptics?
  8. Did you know that these drugs are well known to cause brain damage, such as tardive dyskinesia (easily viewed on Youtube) or an actual lobotomy effect, shrinking the frontal lobes?
  9. Why aren’t non-drug alternatives offered to Americans, including the millions of vets?

And many other questions!

You may suggest more questions here in the comment section. My last blog about this topic led to a flurry of predictable controversy about Hillary vs. Trump vs. whoever. But this is far deeper than who is in the White House. Whether it is Vice Pres. Pence or Barack Obama, the signer of the 21st Century Cures Act (one of his last acts as President), can we discuss that later?

Whether you are Republican, Democrat, Libertarian (which has had a plank for years against government-forced psychiatry, of course), a Berniecrat, Green, whatever, okay. For more than 40 years I have worked for human rights and mental health. I have seen Americans and people from other countries of all political stripes speak up. For example, we psychiatric survivors warned about the undue power of the drug industry to SAMHSA, in 2010.

Come on, especially we who are survivors of psychiatric coercion! Let us have a revolution. Certainly no one can stop us from speaking up with the truth!

Mad with the truth!

Speak out against this violation, speak out for freedom!

NCIL is holding their annual conference during this same week that the US Senate should be asking tough questions. NCIL’s theme is Revolution.

The last time I was able to attend this great conference, I heard one of the last speeches from my late, departed friend Justin Dart, Jr., known as the father of the ADA. Justin called for revolution, and both he and his amazing widow have known that psychiatric survivors tend to have the fire in our bellies for freedom, love, and revolution!

Lead on!


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.


  1. Involuntary Outpatient Commitment already exists in France.

    Almost systematically, the psychiatrist orders IOC after Involontary Inpatient Commitment.

    If the patient does not respect his “care program”, the psychiatrist can send him the paramedics or the police to have him re-hospitalized.

    IOC is abolished only if the psychiatrist thinks that the patient will take his injections voluntarily. IOC can last for years, or eternally.

    The psychiatric monster is progressing all over the world.

    We must denounce by name the psychiatrists who practice the forced treatments, describe precisely what they do in order to ruin their reputation.

    We need a directory of psychiatrists who refuse barbaric or forced treatment. All psychiatrists who do not belong to this directory must be fought.

  2. Why are we required to get a diagnosis for the purpose of billing insurance in the US? Why can states not get non-coercive soteria houses going? Why is the University of Minnesota hiding it’s new drug studies by running them through a private irb? Why do politicians keep looking for a certain group to scapegoat as a distraction from real issues?

    • You’re correct, Cognomen….Politicians use certain groups, – such as so-called “mental patients”, – as scapegoats to distract us from the real issues. Why? Money and power. That’s all it is. Money and power as means of social control, and continued domination by the so-called “elites”. Welcome to reality….

  3. No 6. Did you know that neuroleptic psychiatric drugs, commonly called antipsychotics, are often used during IOC?

    …And did you know that some of the Researchers of these drugs are prepared to “deny” Adverse Drug Reactions like Suicide (/Homicide) in their own communities putting many, many more lives at risk.

    €9.6m from Bristol Myers Squibb


    • “You may suggest more questions here in the comment section.”

      Also as to No 6, you should ask Dr. Ellie McCance-Katz whether she is aware of the fact that the neuroleptics/antipsychotics can create what appears to the DSM believers to be the negative symptoms of “schizophrenia,” via what is actually neuroleptic induced deficit syndrome, and also what appears to the DSM believers to be the positive symptoms of “schizophrenia,” via what is actually anticholinergic toxidrome.


      In other words, does she know that the “gold standard treatment for schizophrenia,” the neuroleptics/antipsychotics, can create what appears to the DSM believers to be both the negative and positive symptoms of “schizophrenia,” via what are actually different, already medically known, neuroleptic induced toxidrome/syndrome? Especially since neither of those known neuroleptic induced illnesses are listed in the DSM, which would imply the DSM creators, and all those who believe in the DSM, likely do not know this.

      And is she aware of the fact that the head of the National Institute of Mental Health did confess in 2013 that the DSM, in its entirety, is a scientifically invalid “bible” of “mental illnesses,” for good reason?


      You may let her know I did graduate from a prestigious private high school with a bunch of Katz’s. So I hope most Katz’s will wake up and confess to the reality of the harm that the psychiatric drugs cause, including her. I am not of the opinion most Katz’s are stupid.

    • No. 6.

      In terms of Mental Health Expense to the taxpayer and Security within the Community – Once I stopped consuming fluphenazine decoanate:-
      1. I stopped claiming disability benefit.
      2. My suicidal episodes stopped; and
      3. I returned to normal life.

      (..with the help of practical psychotherapy and a careful oral taper).

  4. I guess the immediate question would be what Senator would even be willing to ask such questions, as all politicians are united in their cluelessness about psychiatric oppression, superseded only by their lack of interest in or caring about our true concerns, as opposed to bullshit ones such as “stigma.”

    While I won’t implore anyone to not bash their heads against the wall if they so choose, I believe we should not be distracted by false battles such as these, which have been set up for us to lose, and by the misconception that such people “don’t understand” when in fact they don’t give a shit. We should focus on the day to day process of exposing psychiatry as the fraudulent and repressive tool that it is, and on mobilizing the public to reject it in toto.

    • Oldhead,

      The documentary below would be of US relevance as it covers SSRI induced Homicide/Suicide. People are often prescribed SSRIs for non serious reasons to begin with. So events can be linked to the drugs.

      Panorama – A Prescription for Murder July 26 9.00 pm BBC1


      The expense of “Mental illness” is another topical issue – I’d estimate at least 50 per cent of the “Severely Mentally Ill” were not “Ill” prior to psychiatric treatment exposure.

        • I think we all know it’s not a small minority, its quite a few people that “lose it”. But notice when they do that they are classified as “regular nutters”, whereas they usually come from the normal 10 percent of the population that have been “talked into” consuming the deadly chemicals.

          I’m a survivor of Suicidal Akathisia but in my case my reactions can be directly traced (from my records) to the offending drugs (and my consultant psychiatrist also).

    • Old Head has a point. It’s not that they don’t know, it’s that they don’t care.

      We need to attack them at their weakest point: their whole system is set up on subjective diagnosis based upon what we say to them. Get the word out there to people to stop talking to psychiatrists, psychologists, etc. Promote a Psychiatric Miranda Warning and get the general public to realize that talking to them is not in their best interest.

  5. Last month I was at a meeting run by two people who work for SAMSHA. At one point I asked them if they’d heard about this woman and if so, what did they think about her viewpoints. Both of them kind of squirmed in their chairs and finally one of them answered by saying that yes, they’d heard about her views The person stated that people in SAMSHA talked with her, raising these issues with her. They claim that she’s not as bad as supposedly claimed but that only time would tell in the end. I had a feeling that they were hoping that she wasn’t as bad as has been reported and that they were trying to put a good face on their fears. It was apparent that they didn’t really want to talk about her at all.

    From what I’ve read about her she’s probably as bad as she’s been described. I don’t get the feeling that she really gives a rat’s ass about any of us nor about the work of SAMSHA. And knowing how Congress gives the rubber stamp of approval to Trump’s nominees I have little hope that she won’t be confirmed. However, the two people from SAMSHA that I talked with were not so sure that she would be confirmed but wouldn’t go into their reasons for thinking so.

  6. Good questions David, and good points oldhead.

    What is the current high water mark in anti-psychiatry, like going after psychotherapy and recovery, besides just psychiatry, like protecting children from being told they need therapy and recovery, as well as psychiatry, and like telling people to reject all aspects of the system, like therapy and recovery, and like calling for the prosecution of doctors who are aiding in child abuse?

  7. Remember an article this brainless woman with her head in a box (where she thinks.) You posted it on your blog, David. She sees a woman in a rumpled trench coat who laughs a little to herself and writes in a notebook. Obviously this woman is a dangerous “schizo” in need of immediate “help!”

    Watch out Detective Columbo! Katz is here to “help” you because she doesn’t like your trench coat or the way you scribble in a notebook.

    Reminds me of how all women who picked parsley for dinner or owned cats were accused of witchcraft when the Witch Trials were in vogue. (The only way to cure a witch was to put her out of her misery through hanging or burning at the stake. Drugs take longer but can lead to much bigger profit margins.)

    The way Katz ended her essay confirmed my hypothesis that she’s a clueless idiot. She expressed the compassionate desire to see the woman with the notebook and tacky coat cured and reintegrated into society. Segregation is the exact opposite of integration. Last time I checked that is what all the Mental Illness professionals have to offer us.

    Buy the woman a tasteful coat if you must, but drugging folks does not improve their hygiene, personal appearance, or social skills. Anyone who doubts me should view psych survivors in their interactions and compare them with the zombies you’ll find in day treatment, clubhouses, or halfway houses for the SMI throughout America.