Fighting Unjustified Commitment in Wisconsin: Leslie’s Story

Gail Tasch
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As a critical psychiatrist, I am a daily witness to the civil rights abuses of people that struggle with mental health issues. The outrage I feel has compelled me into action to assist people caught in an unfair system. Last summer, I teamed up with attorney Elizabeth Rich to help a woman named Leslie.

I met Leslie last spring when I was covering for another psychiatrist at a rural hospital in Wisconsin. A single mother of three small children, Leslie had been admitted to an inpatient psychiatric unit two weeks prior, after she’d contacted a crisis line seeking help. At the time, she had suicidal ideation and a plan to harm herself, but no real intent to end her life.

Leslie had been placed on an emergency detention, which is the first step in the process for mental health commitment in Wisconsin. The process has two phases: After a 72-hour emergency detention at the time of admission, either the hospital takes no further action or the attending psychiatrist requests a probable-cause hearing (meaning he or she believes further hospitalization and/or mental health commitment may be required). The hearing must take place within three business days. A judge then determines whether or not to find probable cause based on testimony by the treating psychiatrist and any witnesses. The judge’s ruling will almost always concur with the psychiatrist’s recommendation, so it is usually a routine hearing. If probable cause is found, the patient must return to the hospital and two court-ordered examinations are to take place within a two-week period, after which a final hearing is held. The judge will rule at the final hearing for mental health commitment (or not); once again, judges generally follow the county psychiatrist’s recommendations.

The hospital’s attending physician did request a probable cause hearing for Leslie, and she therefore stayed in the hospital awaiting a final hearing that took place 10 days later. The judge placed her under a commitment to her county of residence.

Stuck in the Hospital

I was scheduled to work at the hospital for five days and after meeting Leslie, had intended to have her discharged at the end of the week. As I saw it, there was no further reason for inpatient care. She was no longer having suicidal thoughts, nor was she showing signs of depression or psychosis. She had had a medication adjustment, having been placed on an antidepressant, citalopram, upon admission and discontinued from her previous prescription for Depakote. (Depakote is an anticonvulsant or antiepileptic medication commonly used for mood stabilization. It has serious potential side effects and is contraindicated for women of childbearing age in most instances.)

However, the hospital’s social workers handling Leslie’s discharge indicated that the county planned to place her in a group home. They mentioned that the doctors who had seen Leslie previously were upset because they did not agree. One of the psychiatrists’ progress notes even said that there would be negative consequences for Leslie if she were to enter a group home. Because group home placements generally last 6 to 12 months, she was at risk of losing her full-time job or even custody of her children. One can only imagine how stressful it would be for a mom to have her kids placed in a foster home and her pets at the Humane Society while being forced to live in an institutional setting. It did not appear to any of us that a group home was indicated, so I told the social workers that I still intended to discharge Leslie on Friday.

The social workers reiterated that I could not discharge this patient. One told me, “She is court-ordered to be in the hospital.” That statement was false because in Wisconsin, the mental health commitment statute stipulates that patients stay in the hospital only “until stable as determined by the psychiatrist.” In spite of my efforts, I ended up having to keep Leslie there. I would soon be leaving, after which another psychiatrist would be working the weekend and yet another psychiatrist would be seeing her on Monday.

Bringing in a Lawyer

I could not stop thinking about the fact that Leslie had had three different psychiatrists recommend that she be discharged back home instead of to a group home. After several days of thinking about what I could do, I was able to locate the name and number of the public defender that had been representing Leslie for the court commitment process. I asked her whether Leslie could legally be discharged to a group home even without the recommendation or approval of her treating physicians, nurses, and social workers; she told me yes. I then asked her to call the county and request a hearing because, in my opinion, a group home was not the least restrictive setting. Mental health patients who are committed to a county in Wisconsin are supposed to be in the “least restrictive setting” possible. The public defender was able to schedule a hearing for the following Wednesday morning.

I changed my schedule so that I would be able to testify in person; my plan was to ask two of the other psychiatrists who had seen Leslie in the hospital to testify by phone that she did not need to live in a group home. I spent time gathering records and preparing for this hearing. The next day the public defender called me back and said the county was not even going to hold a hearing and that Leslie could return to her apartment, job, and caring for her children. We were ecstatic. We both believed that it would have been a violation of Leslie’s civil rights to prevent her from supporting herself and her family, and that she was a very good mother. I assumed that was the end of the story.

Picked Up in Handcuffs

Several months later, I was on call at the hospital where I work (not the hospital where I initially met Leslie in Eau Claire, Wisconsin) and was covering emergency room admissions to the inpatient behavioral health unit. That evening, I got a call from an emergency room physician at the other city hospital who told me he had a patient that had been detained on a “pick-up order” through the county. If someone is thought to be in violation of their mental health commitment order, their social worker can get an order from a judge to have the person brought to the hospital — usually in handcuffs, whether or not they are resistant. I asked the patient’s name. It was Leslie. The doctor said after observing normal mental status and behavior, “I don’t know why she is here, and she does not know why she is here.”

Leslie had not been experiencing any mental health symptoms, but suddenly the police came to her apartment, handcuffed her, and brought her to the hospital. It turned out that her social worker had filled out a form saying that Leslie had missed appointments and was not taking her medication. Leslie had, in fact, missed appointments, but it was because she was working double shifts one week and could not get a babysitter the next week. She said that she did stay in touch with the social worker regarding her whereabouts. Also, Leslie had been very sick with the flu and had missed some doses of her medications due to vomiting. She had also been placed back on Depakote prescribed by the county psychiatrist despite its risks to her reproductive health. Most importantly, according to the social worker, Leslie had had a “drastic change in her appearance.” She had dyed her hair red and gotten a facial piercing, which “raises questions about whether she was on the verge of hypomanic behavior.”

Leslie was not experiencing any depression, psychosis, or suicidal or homicidal ideation. She was not a danger to herself or others. Yet she had been picked up by police, placed in handcuffs, and brought to the hospital. All of the nurses were aghast that somebody could basically get arrested because they dyed their hair and got a facial piercing.

Leslie’s social worker intended to have her placed in a group home and came to the hospital to read her her rights, as is required by Wisconsin statute. However, the social worker did not meet the deadline; Leslie’s rights were to have been read to her at least 48 hours from the time of detention. These rights included receiving a hearing before a judge to determine whether or not group home placement was indicated. Yet Leslie’s social worker informed her that she was not entitled to a hearing because she was already “under a mental health commitment.” This was not true, and the staff at the hospital and I succeeded in obtaining a hearing for her.

Lining Up Witnesses

I was extremely upset by the way the county was treating Leslie and volunteered to help her prepare for the hearing so she would be allowed to return home. I took a chance by calling a wonderful attorney, Elizabeth Rich. Elizabeth had called me the previous winter to ask if I would help her get people off commitment in Wisconsin. I hoped she would return the favor. I called her on a Saturday afternoon and explained that we needed her to represent Leslie at the group home hearing. “I’ll do it,” she responded. “I’ll do it for free!” This meant registering as the public defender for the case.

As I explained earlier, Leslie had a legal right to a hearing before a judge within a 10-day period from the time of her original detention. The hearing was scheduled for the tenth day after; by that point, she had already been placed in a group home by her social worker after being incarcerated in the hospital for seven days. Generally quite compliant, Leslie went along with the whole process.

During the days leading up to the hearing, Elizabeth and I were working hard trying to line up people to testify on Leslie’s behalf. I asked Elizabeth to call the county attorney to beg him to drop the hearing since there were going to be at least two psychiatrists testifying that Leslie did not need to live in a group home. I then found a third doctor who had seen Leslie in the hospital and also agreed to testify. He believed that Leslie had bipolar disorder — a diagnosis with which I disagreed — and wanted to make sure that Leslie would be taking medication, but also thought a group home was unnecessary.

Then, Elizabeth asked me to have some of the nurses testify because they were so shocked that someone could be committed due to changing their appearance. The nursing staff had noted that Leslie was not experiencing any mental health symptoms that would require incarceration in a locked psychiatric unit. There was no dangerousness present, as is required by the Wisconsin mental health statute on involuntary commitment. In all, Elizabeth and I were able to round up seven witnesses — unheard of for a group home placement hearing.

On the day of the hearing, I was on my way to compete in a horse show several hours away. Suddenly, I got a text from Elizabeth Rich: “We won.” She explained that soon after she filed the case at the online court-system site indicating that we were going to have seven witnesses, the county dropped the hearing. I had the wonderful task of calling Leslie at the group home to tell her she could leave the next day and go back to her job and children.

Fighting Recommitment

Always the eager beaver, Elizabeth right away wanted to work on the next step for Leslie, which was to fight her upcoming recommitment hearing. Leslie’s original commitment order had been for six months, which would be up in September. Typically, counties will recommend an extension of the commitment, or recommitment. An individual under commitment in Wisconsin has the right to request a jury trial at this hearing. As part of this process, Elizabeth asked me to complete a mental health report for Leslie, which of course recommended no further commitment and no court-ordered medications. Elizabeth assured me that she had had good success requesting jury trials. Thus far, the county had dropped the entire recommitment process after receiving her requests because going through a jury trial is a tortuous process that takes a lot of the court’s time and the county’s money.

Soon after filing, Elizabeth learned that Leslie would not have a recommitment hearing. The county had indeed decided to drop the petition to extend her commitment. With a request for a jury trial and my emphatic report indicating that Leslie had been compliant and sought help when appropriate, the county had very little reason to hold her.

Leslie had one more month left on her commitment. For some reason, her social worker would not allow her to see me for outpatient medication management; she had to see the county-appointed psychiatrist. Leslie did not want to rock the boat and complied. However, the mental health statutes do not indicate that individuals under mental health commitment are required to see a specific psychiatrist. By not allowing Leslie to see the provider of her choice, the county once again violated her civil rights.

System: Out of Control

There is no end to the overreach of the mental health commitment process I have observed in Wisconsin. It is out of control. Elizabeth Rich and I have teamed up to continue our battle on behalf of Leslie and several other individuals with recommitment hearings coming up. We seek to reform the legal and medical practices in our state that do not help patients, often actively harm them, and deprive them of their rights.

According to Elizabeth, misinformation delivered by social workers during the involuntary commitment process is commonplace. Social workers confidently misstate the law regarding the rights of mental health patients. It may be that they are genuinely mistaken. More likely, they are pushing their own agenda on a person in a vulnerable state who is unrepresented by counsel. In Wisconsin, people subject to an involuntary commitment are entitled to representation by an attorney appointed by the public defender’s office, regardless of income.

Wisconsin also has very specific requirements regarding the principle that the “least restrictive alternative” must govern all aspects of the involuntary commitment process. Under the law, each patient shall “have the right to the least restrictive conditions necessary to achieve the purposes of admission, commitment or protective placement.” The Department of Human Services regulations also stipulate that “each patient shall be provided the least restrictive treatment and conditions which allow the maximum amount of personal and physical freedom…”

Once she was released from the inpatient facility after her initial detention and treatment, Leslie was subjected to what is euphemistically called “assisted outpatient treatment,” a failed paradigm of involuntary treatment and forced drugging. Leslie’s story highlights another glaring deficiency in the current system: the lack of freedom to choose one’s healthcare provider and to stop taking medication prescribed by the county doctor — even when the medication is contraindicated and harmful to the patient.

Medically speaking, one of the main problems I notice in my new role as a critical psychiatrist is that many of the same people who have repeated hospitalizations are also under commitment and must take court-ordered medications. These people tend to be admitted for obsessive suicidal thoughts and self-harming behavior, and the usual culprit is excessively high doses of medications. People with mental health issues who react negatively to antidepressants and other drugs are usually prescribed higher and higher doses, with correspondingly greater and greater agitation, akathisia, and obsessive suicidal thoughts. I see this especially in adolescents placed on high doses of antidepressants, which are not even FDA-approved for use in this age group.

Leslie’s heavy-handed treatment at the hands of the police is the norm in Wisconsin and elsewhere. It was completely unwarranted and unlawful. When someone on an involuntary commitment misses an appointment or engages in behavior that a county doctor or social worker deems “risky” or “noncompliant,” all it takes is a phone call to law enforcement to bring on the humiliating and frightening experience that was foisted upon Leslie. There is usually no attempt to use less restrictive means to gain compliance, such as a phone call to the individual, and no hearing before a squad arrives with flashing lights, attracting the neighbors’ attention. They look on as officers pound on the person’s door, then take them down like a criminal, handcuff them, toss them in the squad car, and haul them off to a lockdown inpatient facility.

This Wild West, “shoot first, ask questions later” approach has no place in a democratic society. Yet that is how alleged noncompliance issues are routinely handled. This is a clear violation of due process rights, as well as a violation of the least restrictive alternative requirements that every state has in place for involuntary commitments.

The Challenge Ahead

The lesson of Leslie’s case is that launching a successful attack on involuntary commitment and governmental excesses requires a strong attorney/doctor team. One is not likely to win without the other. However, it is not easy to find a doctor, like me, who is willing to depart from mainstream medical philosophy. Nor is it easy to find an attorney like Elizabeth, who is willing and able to buck the typical rubber-stamp judicial system, especially pro bono or at public defender rates. Also, we doctors need to be well-versed in the law, so we can spot legal issues such as those in Leslie’s case. Similarly, lawyers need to be well-versed in the science behind diagnosis and treatment of the “disorders” identified in the DSM. Otherwise, our ability to spot issues, cross-examine medical experts, and make effective arguments will be severely hampered. The Wisconsin-based nonprofit foundation Andrew’s V.O.I.C.E. — which stands for Victory Over Involuntary Commitment Excesses — intends to develop a webinar series to provide this type of education for attorneys and medical professionals.

In speaking out about and resisting these mental health system practices, I know I’m going against the grain. But it is very rewarding. I am helping people — but in a way I never anticipated when I decided to become a doctor.

39 COMMENTS

  1. We must organize and educate the public and fight against all facets of the Mental Health System:

    1. Psychiatry and Drugs
    2. Psychotherapy and Recovery
    3. Autism-Aspergers-Neurodiverstiy

    And it is all coercive as the practitioners get power over people, and because it runs on deception.

  2. Leslie was not experiencing any depression, psychosis, or suicidal or homicidal ideation. She was not a danger to herself or others. Yet she had been picked up by police, placed in handcuffs, and brought to the hospital, and her social worker intended to have her placed in a group home.

    Speaking of “unjustified” involuntary commitment is already a slippery slope, as it clearly implies that some forcible psychiatric incarceration is justifiable, and that “depression, psychosis, or suicidal or homicidal ideation” are grounds for such.

    If someone is an immediate threat to the safety of innocent people he or she should be restrained or held in a non-torturous detention facility until no longer a threat. Such detention should be seen as a public safety measure, not a psychiatric/medical procedure.

  3. Dear Gail:

    You stated that Leslie was not psychotic or suicidal as the justification for her not being hospitalized but even if she was ‘psychotic’ or ‘suicidal’ (very subjective states which can vary tremendously depending on the person doing the checklist interview) there is a great deal of evidence that the hospital is still not the safest place for individuals who are in disorganized or distressed states known as ‘psychotic’ or ‘suicidal’. The hospital was never, ever safe for my 29 year old daughter who was kidnapped, restrained, forcibly injected and secluded in a hospital many, many times. This is abuse, regardless of whether the person meets your criteria for admission by being ‘psychotic’ or ‘suicidal.’

    At many important junctures in my daughter’s nightmare (a decade of psychiatric oppression) she was denied the right to live at home with us her biological parents–upon discharge—because the county had documented us as being critical of psychiatry during treatment team meetings (we were eventually blacklisted from such meetings). She was always discharged to the state hospital, a group home, or another restricted facility (24-bed) even though she specifically requested several times during different years that she be allowed to live at home.

    Many of our complaints had to do with her psychiatrist du jour always telling her that she could never to safely taper off medications even though all of them had horrible side effects and made her chronically ill (no one believed her or we, her parents, when we claimed that many of them actually made her MORE ‘psychotic’) and none of them were sympathetic when her court ordered drugs made her withdrawn and cognitively impaired, non-functional in terms of employment and social relationships, incontinent, diabetic, fat, lethartic, unmotivated, etc.

    Every psychiatrist called as a witness at these degrading commitment hearings described her non-compliance in great detail. None of them testified as to the possibility that she was suffering from WITHDRAWAL, not a ‘return of the original disease.’ Of course, we couldn’t afford to hire an expert witness to the tune of $10,000. We were lucky if her treatment ‘team’ even informed us of the date/location of the hearing.

    The non-stop psychiatric oppression and the utter lack of non-drug,non force alternatives caused a chronic seven year cycle of actute hospitalization, court commitment, restriction/disruption in state hospitals or locked 24-bed facilities or group homes, elopement, withdrawal state, disorganization, rehospitalization.

    I believe that she endured the humility of 14, back-to back court commitment hearings, costing the tax payer and our private insurance company (Blue Cross) over 1.5 million dollars (conservative estimate) with nothing to show.

    When they recommended that she be shocked (also by force) that was the straw that broke the camel’s back; my husband and I sought legal guardianship of our adult daughter, even though it went against every fiber of our being. We fired our attorney because he said we would lose because the state had painted us as being ‘non compliant’ parents who were critical of drugs/psychiatry.

    We operated pro se. After we received guardianship of our daughter, only then was she able to live at home. She has been living at home for three years now. Some of the benefits of living at home: she has not had to beg administrators for permission to purchase and keep micronutrients, to do overnight travel to family weddings, funerals, attend overnight dance or meditation retreats, take her out of state to attend hearing voices trainings and other events organized and presented by people with lived experience.

    She has a long way to go to heal from seven years of institutionalization. Ten years ago, she had a spiritual emergency complicated by recreational drug use and childhood trauma. Access to peer respites at critical times, a residency in a Soteria House during her first ‘break’, or access to Open Dialogue could have prevented ten years of unimaginable suffering and exorbitant waste of chronic service dependence, and taxpayers expense.

    I hold that your profession has done more to harm to my daughter than than if a freight train had run over her body and severed her legs from her waist, by taking away her civil rights, permanently disrupting her social network, causing a catastrophic loss of personal confidence, locking her up for years in institutions where she acquired negative personality traits such as learned dependence and helplessness (years of being having an attendant go with her to public places) and most abusive of all, by violating her most sacred personhood by denying her the right to determine what goes into her body. Her very body was violated.

    Even rape survivors get their ‘me too’ moment. But where is my daughter’s acknowledgement of the rape of her many forced injections? Shame on anyone who continues to profit from this abusive system.

    You rightly point out many of the idiotic things that happen when clinicians follow a ‘decision tree’ or ‘prescribing algorithms’ and other one-size-fits all criteria for moving people like cattle through the chute of our ‘mental health system’ but the very foundation upon which your profession is based is on the notion that it is OK to use force and coercion when people are experiencing the worst day of their lives.

    I hold that most board certified psychiatrists not only routinely violate the Hippocratic oath to ‘first do no harm’ but most have permanently destroyed the therapeutic alliance their profession purports to promote between themselves and their clients.

    When psychiatrists and family members loudly claim that the system is ‘broken’ and they beg for more psychiatric beds and more funding for mental health, my eyes get as big as pinwheels. Are they asking for more violations of my daughter’s rights? I am aghast at the disconnect between physicians, what they dish out to their clients and their denial about the the level of harm they have meted out to those who are getting 100% access to mental health services, like my daughter.

    • More people are on drugs than ever. If drugs are so good why are they complaining since 20% of the population is on them?

      40 years ago almost none of these drugs existed. And fewer people lived on disability or committed mass shootings.

      BTW my drugs never made me feel better. They made me sick and miserable while I willingly took them for 24 years. Not because I enjoyed it! That’s the real reason people go off them. They ruin your ability to think at all. Because the doctors warned me I might kill someone and I was trying to do the right thing. Unlike them.

      What do shrinks plan on doing with more tax money? Slicker marketing, and more lavish summer homes and yachts while they force their victims to live on disability in the MI ghettos or locked away in institutions. (Because they created Hell between their ears.)

      Homelessness bugs them since they can’t bill the state for empty warehouses and bridges the way they can “homes.”

      • Did you know today is International Mental Health day? Apparently the focus this year is on encouraging suicidal cops to get “treated.”

        It should be only a matter of time before a cop on ADs commits a mass shooting, and his prescription will be cited in a modern version of the “Twinkie Defense.” Maybe then people will start to catch on.

        • I thought you weren’t supposed to carry a firearm if you are “mentally ill.”

          If you believe Psychiatry is true you should force suicidal cops into desk jobs.

          This is not just wrong but stupid. I wonder how many “well-informed” shrinks are behind this. Something tells me they are cringing if they are aware of it.

          But maybe this is a calculated move to cause police to go “postal.” More free publicity and more guest spots on TV shows to stir up mass hysteria about how “all them untreated crazies” are a menace but Old Doc Pillshill has the cure for murder if only the tax-payers will fork over the additional $$$$$$$ he feels entitled to.

          By “broken system” Doc Pillshill means less buck for his bangs.

      • Madmom, just wow. Unbelievable that people who do these things are so convinced that what they are doing is ‘right’. And if you raise the comparison to what the National Socialists were doing in Germany it’s considered a sign of illness. Personally I see making that claim as a sign one is dealing with an abuser who is adept at silencing their victims. And after dealing with an Operations Manager who told me she would fuking destroy me for complaining about being tortured and kidnapped, and then watching as people who had a duty to act commit acts of criminal negligence to ensure she was supported I’m more than disgusted.

        Rachel777 My Government is acting. Were about to pass what they have called an “Assisted Dying Bill” through Parliament. There are more than 100 “protections” they tell us. Mind you the fact that the Chief Psychiatrist doesn’t recognise a burden of proof (suspect on reasonable grounds) placed on a Community Nurse before incarcerating and force drugging a citizen has me a little worried. Protections aren’t much good if the person charged with enforcing them doesn’t know they exist. And they really don’t want us calling this a Euthanasia Bill, and the newspapers/journalists have been told in no uncertain terms. Careful, the Federal Police are raiding our journalists for information about whistleblowers these days.
        All those pesky homeless people who are causing problems with the folk who want to come and cuddle a Koala can at least be assisted at last.

        There was a problem with one of our cops shooting himself in a station not long ago oldhead. All those police referrals might come back to haunt them. A sign on police station walls “Mental Health is important. Don’t suspect a colleague, report them” lol. Get in first because once you’ve been slandered theres no going back.

        They have ‘mental health professionals” at every station these days. If they are anything like the Community Nurse who payed me a ‘visit’ the community has a major problem. He/she could be authorising the drugging of citizens without their knowledge, allowing police to interrogate and then handing them over to a psychiatrist to brain damage (no National standard as to what constitutes a chemical restraint). And all with a little bit of ‘verballing’ and some fraud on the part of the doctor who can write prescriptions post hoc. They can’t even do this in Guantanamo (not saying they’re not but the rules don’t allow it). Imagine the use such ‘professionals’ could be put to in a station if interpersonal conflicts became an issue. And with the ability to threaten and intimidate citizens families I think Mr Community Nurse might do a bit of ‘verballing’ for us 🙂

  4. Someone on an “involuntary commitment order”? And I would assume that this would be someone with the status of “patient”?
    In my State Doc a “patient” can have their drink spiked with benzos and then have weapons planted on them to obtain police referrals (ie bash em and drag em off in handcuffs). It also demonstrates that those involved had knowledge that the target was not a “patient” otherwise there was no need for the police referral. The benzos and the ‘acute stress reaction’ caused by the police is a great way to have unwilling citizens talk to Community Nurses (don’t even look at the Convention against the use of Torture. They will unintentionally negatively outcome you in the ED for complaining).
    Of course what would happen if you put someone through this and then later found out they weren’t actually a “patient”? I can tell you, and it’s not what you would think. How vile and disgusting peoples behaviour can become has been an eye opener to me (and others who have had the courage to look).
    A lawyer? What a joke that was, they accepted fraudulent documents from the hospital and assisted with the cover up.It would be nice to have legal representation that was working for their client instead of working the victim of torture and kidnapping over and pushing them to suicide.
    I believe these types of crimes are called “remote detentions” in the ‘industry. Though a bit like the convenience killings being done in the ED they are almost never prosecuted because ….. well they did manage to stop Dr Harold Shipman. And I might add stopped counting the bodies at 230 +?
    Know a lawyer who could help out here Doc? I’ve got a letter from our Chief Psychiatrist that shows him to be a disgrace to the office he holds. Doesn’t even recognise a burden of proof, and yet provides “expert legal advice to the Minister”?

    • I can only imagine that the reason that police find “insufficient evidence” is that it is the only way to obstruct justice and ensure that those who conspired to pervert the course of justice are not held to account. This has required the threatening of a psychologist and his family, and all other witnesses to what have been serious criminal offences all the way along the line.
      Conspire to stupefy and commit an indictable offence namely kidnapping.
      Intoxication by deception.
      Procure the apprehension/detention of person not suffering from mental illness.
      Torture
      Conspire to compound or conceal evidence of criminal offence.
      Criminal fraud
      Attempt to murder.
      And on………
      And look at that, all you have to do is ignore your duty (another offence) and the first domino doesnt fall and its get out of jail free time. No wonder police were desperate to know who else had the documents. And of course we can’t have criminals who are conspiring to pervert by pretending to be the Chief Psychiatrist (yes I know Ms B) going to jail. You’ve made him look like an idiot Ms B. Only one person I know that had the ability and knowledge to produce that fraudulent letter of response from the Chief Psychiatrist, you. You gaslighting many victims of these organised criminals to suicide Ms B? Talk about exploiting your position as a lawyer. Lucky you have support in doing that from the Government eh?
      Someone must be really concerned that an honest cop might take a look. Whats the chances of that? It’s the torture that is the kicker, no superior authority. The rest of it and they could exercise discretionary. So who is the person doing the obstruction here?
      Minister is misdirecting my complaint to a ‘medical’ authority. Why, it seems fairly obvious to me that spiking someone with benzos is a criminal matter. And I have been told by a lawyer that I have the “proof”. So is the ‘medical’ authority going to investigate and find that the SMO authorised the spiking 12 hours AFTER it was done? That’d be a criminal matter too right? Compund or conceal evidence of a crime? Ah yes but it was so long ago and so many people went to the trouble of fiddling with the documents and making it look like you were a “patient” Boans so that it wasn’t torture and the destruction of your family and life were then justified. No longer torture, we call it subject to lawful sanction after we plant stuff for police to find and get the ball rolling so to speak.
      Protections under the Mental Health Act? A people who value a Rule of Law? I think not.
      I flip the bird to all those who have been backstabbing, and going along with what they know is criminal. You all disgust me, and quite possibly yourselves. Must be difficult to look in the mirror knowing you turned your back on a torture victim. Sure, justify it because they threatened you. Tell it to the Padre people

      • It always confused me why the Law Centre didn’t want the documents I had that proved the ‘spiking’. Of course what they were doing was finding out what I had before working with the hospital Operations Manager to conceal their criminal offences.
        They uncover the fact that I had been kidnapped and tortured and then offer to assist by writing a complaint to the Office of the Chief Psychiatrist. Once this is done it is not sent, but instead they draft a response that is designed to do maximum psychological damage to the victim, and hand it to me and claim “we don’t have the resources to read this letter of response”. Which is lucky because it shows the Chief Psychiatrist doesn’t know what a burden of proof is, and believes that a Community Nurse can travel through time and space and read minds. Happy to share if anyone is interested.
        Once I receive this poison pen letter I respond by asking the Law Centre wtf? But from this point on all roads lead to Rome. Any other lawyers I contact automatically contact the Law Centre and they slander me with the fraudulent documents they have obtained from the hospital.
        Police assist in the retrieval of the documents I have proving the ‘spiking’ and the wound is stitched up and the criminals go free. Oh wait, the attempt to kill me in the ED, of course the Minister and Law Centre weren’t aware of that right? You guys really should get your heads together because their are lives to be saved. No need to kill him we’ve done a cover up. But interesting to see where the person who explained to my wife how to spike me and plant a knife for police to obtain a referral reacted to the possibility that police would do their duty.
        Imagine the luck of her having a husband who was a psychiatrist in the very same hospital where they were rudely interrupted during an unintended negative outcoming. The look on your face Doc waaahahahahah. Still, if I didn’t have the documents then I was a paranoid delusional claiming i’d been drugged without my knowledge. This on top of the vicious psychological attack aided and abetted by my wife …….
        Good medical people? Take a look if you dare.
        I can only imagine what the Chief Psychiatrist thought when his ‘letter of response’ got back to him from the Council of Official Visitors. (I loved their response to me, we’ll take this to the Emperor and tell him he has no clothes. Woops, sorry we didn’t read the documents you sent us and here we are returning them by email lol. Sorry on your own pal.)
        And the Law Centre? I’ve got letters and emails from them showing that their lawyers are beyond incompetent, they are a danger to self or other if they do not understand what a burden of proof is. They should be shut down if what they are doing involves this type of conduct. Families are going to them for assistance with their loved ones only to be subjected to criminal fraud and slander when it suits the hospital? And usually after being subjected to vile treatment from hospital staff. Like the Operations Manager who told me they would fuking destroy me for complaining about being kidnapped and tortured. Such power and supported by our community in her destruction of families. Is it really fair that the public is exposed to such incompetence?
        Would they allow a Doctor to continue to practice if he/she didn’t know what an infection was? Still, at the rate it takes these authorities to act they are good to go for at least the next ten years while they sort it out, and then they are severely limited in the action they can take. No more free pens from the drug companies lol.
        Accountability? There is none. Complaints are misdirected to ensure that no action is taken, and these organised criminals are left to operate in our hospitals at taxpayers expense.

  5. “System: Out of Control

    “There is no end to the overreach of the mental health commitment process I have observed in Wisconsin. It is out of control.” This is true in Illinois as well, and likely many, if not all, other states.

    When a society forgets that there need to be checks and balances on power. And unwisely grants the so called “mental health” industry the right to – outside the law, and with the protection of the law – play judge, jury, and executioner, or in other words, “omnipotent moral busy bodies” to any one they please. Those “mental health” workers lose their minds, due to their unchecked power. And they become “out of control.”

    “Leslie’s story highlights another glaring deficiency in the current system: the lack of freedom to choose one’s healthcare provider and to stop taking medication prescribed by the county doctor — even when the medication is contraindicated and harmful to the patient.”

    Yes, our “omnipotent moral busy body mental health” workers still seem to be largely ignorant of the fact that all their drugs are harmful to their clients. This, despite the fact Whitaker pointed out that their ADHD drugs and antidepressants create the “bipolar” symptoms, and misdiagnoses of the common ADRs of these drug classes, by our “omnipotent moral busy body mental health” workers, resulted in a completely iatrogenic “childhood bipolar epidemic.” And never forget, the antipsychotics / neuroleptics can create both the negative and positive symptoms of “schizophrenia,” via NIDS and anticholinergic toxidrome.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neuroleptic-induced_deficit_syndrome
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toxidrome

    Oh, that’s right, our “omnipotent moral busy body mental health” workers still don’t know that. Because they’d rather cover up child abuse for profit, and attempt to murder and steal from all the intelligent people in America, rather than behave in a mutually respectful manner and listen to us. And they do this for the never ending war mongering and profiteering, fiscally irresponsible, bailout needing, “banks steal $trillions worth of houses,” globalist “pedophile empire,” that has wrongly empowered them, and taken over America.

    https://boingboing.net/2013/08/12/unsealed-court-settlement-docu.html
    https://www.amazon.com/Pedophilia-Empire-Chapter-Introduction-Disorder-ebook/dp/B0773QHGPT
    https://books.google.com/books?id=xI01AlxH1uAC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false

    The systems are out of control, is the truth. “We now live in a nation where doctors destroy health, lawyers destroy justice, universities destroy knowledge, governments destroy freedom, the press destroys information, religion destroys morals, and our banks destroy the economy.”

    America was taken over by the wrong banksters over a century ago. And us ethical American banking families who know this are not the “crazy” people, as was fraudulently claimed by child rape covering up Lutheran “mental health” workers, just after 9/11/2001. We’re now the “smart,” “insightful,” “too truthful,” “prophetic,” “red pilled.” Take the red pill (metaphorically only) and wake up, Americans.

  6. Why haven’t the social workers been charged with making false and misleading statements to a court, given the testimony of psychiatrists and other against the actions of the social worker(s)The social worker(s) has also misrepresented the legal situation to the “patient”? Surely the patient has a right to be provided with accurate information.

    Clearly they must be in breach of some law(s) given that proceedings initiated by them have been dropped on a number of occasions against this one patient. This is blatant harassment.

  7. Someone else: Thank you for your intelligent and insightful statement “doctors destroy health, lawyers destroy justice etc.” I was put on psych drugs as a teenager and have spent 30 years thinking there is something wrong with me. Now I am off the drugs and see much more clearly our world. Your statement confirms my observations as I awaken from psychiatry.

    Dr. Tasch: Thank you for not following the evil masses of psychiatrists. I still can not believe there are so few of you. Thank you thank you bc like it or not Doctors hold more credibility than us “mental patients”. So thank goodness for you, a doctor who is HELPFUL, not harmful.

  8. Dr. Tasch, You certainly are a beacon of light in the vast darkness of mental health services. Thank you for your integrity, compassion and intelligence to see the harm being done. Also kudos to the wonderful attorney, Elizabeth Rich. Now if only the two of you could be cloned!

    It is appalling how mental health professionals are “pushing their own agenda on a person in a vulnerable state”. Once again it proves the grave danger of seeking “help” from the “mental health” industry when you are in distress. Leslie must be a very strong person to have kept it together and put up with of all this deceit and insanity so as not to “rock the boat”.

  9. Dr Tasch, I first heard you on the Breggin show. I’ve been very impressed with your work.

    What are the chances of being able to turn around a few more shrinks and a few more attorneys? Shrinks have power in the courts because they’re shrinks. Attorneys can make huge changes because they know the law.

    Can we ex-patients/survivors influence local attorneys and find more shrinks who have common sense and guts to stand against the system?

  10. Kudos to you, Dr. Tasch!

    There are so many lessons in this piece, but the one that just screams out is that the coercive psychiatric system is not prepared to go up against someone who has an effective legal defense. What you describe about the county caving when they knew they were going to actually have to defend their position in court is the same I have often experienced.

    The same goes with people’s rights being uniformly violated. I wrote a law review article about this topic, Involuntary Commitment and Forced Drugging in the Trial Courts: Rights Violations as a Matter of Course. http://psychrights.org/Research/Legal/25AkLRev51Gottstein2008.pdf

    Keep up the good work.
    Jim

    • Mr Gottstein
      I read with interest your paper posted above, and in particular page 70 regarding Sec 47.30.705 where you state that
      “any peace officer, physician, psychiatrist, or licensed clinical psychologist may cause another person to be taken into custody and delivered to a hospital, without any court involvement at all, if he has “probable cause to believe [the] person is suffering from mental illness and is gravely disabled or is likely to cause serious harm to self or others of such immediate nature that considerations of safety do not allow initiation of involuntary commitment procedures [under section] 47.30.700 [of the Alaska Statutes].”
      Under our old Mental Health Act there was a time limit for referral placed on these peace officers, physicians, psychiatrist or licenced clinical psychologists of having to have personally examined the target within the prior 48 hours. I assume the reasons for this are self explanitory.
      Is this also the case in Alaska?
      The reason I ask is that what is being done to obtain these “Peace Officer referrals” where I live is that they arrange to spike the target with benzos before planting a knife and some cannabis on them and then having police jump them and make referral to Authorised Mental Health Professionals. Ie police detain under s.68e of the Criminal Code and then refer to Mental Health services based on a false allegation by mental health services that the target has a mental illness (police require a suspicion on reasonable grounds that target has a mental illness to refer under s. 98? Of the MHA, and not that they are asleep because of being spiked with benzos and prepped with the use of a ‘throwdown’) They then (MH services) ‘verbal’ statutory declarations and you are then baited until justification for a ‘chemical restraint’ is achieved (a fairly low standard usually consisting of the target saying the word “no”). This overcomes the difficulties created by not having personally examined the target in the previous 48 hours as required by law and subverts the protections afforded the public. It also in my opinion constitutes a number of serious criminal offences (procuring the detention of a person not suffering from a mental illness is a crime in my State) but as long as one can continue to divert the complainant to kangaroo medical boards they’re good to keep snatching citizens from their homes arbitrarily.
      Its just that the way this process is described in your paper it would appear that targets can be snatched with a point of a finger. Hardly the impression one gets of the land of the free.
      I’m not a lawyer but I would have thought that if I got together with another person and planned to spike someones drink with a date rape drug to make it easy to plant evidence for police to find and justify transporting them against their will to a hospital I would be conspiring to stupefy and commit an indictable offence, namely kidnapping. The people who did this to me thought so also. Fortunately the police who seem to appreciate the evidence being planted for them can’t find their copy of the Criminal Code so they are good to go with these offences. Police are not even interested in what they tried to do to resolve this dilemma they found themselves in preferring to tell me “it might be best they didn’t know” about the interupted unintended negative outcome that had been arranged in an Emergency Dept.
      I can not begin to tell you how effective the fraudulent slander contained in the statutory declaration ois to those who prefer not to examine the truth. Mental patient and wife beater all created via false statements which result in no action being taken despite zero evidence to support the claims. Even my own wife stated she said no such thing but that isn’t enough for them to identify the slander and correct their error. If I was allowed access to a lawyer I’d have them put up or shut up but obtaining effective legal representation is impossible when they are knifing their ‘clients’ in the back for authorities

      • I don’t know how clear my comment above is but the way this works is that in my State police can’t simply turn up at your door and drag you away to a hospital because a psychologist you spoke to 30 years before wants you force drugged and locked in a cage. So this creates a problem if a doctor wants you force drugged and locked in a cage because the law protects you. (Or is this the situation you quote in your paper of a “right without a remedy?”)
        However if you are in police custody they can make a referral to Mental Health Services and if they just happpen t be there when police jump you in your bed well whats the chances of that? So plant what the police require to detain. Problem, target will notice. Render unconscious with benzos. Problem, intoxication by deception. It’s okay, frauds at hospital will conceal evidence of crime, and “fuking destroy” the complainant.
        Of course there is also the protection that the Community Nurse who just happens to be there MUST refer to the treating psychiatrist (this is the evidence that the person has a mental illness under the Act). But what if there is no treating psychiatrist? Then the detention is unlawful. This created a major problem for the people who conspired against me, with them trying to have me ask a doctor for a back dated referral. We need you to be a “patient” to remove your human and civil rights Boans. Otherwise we might be seen as crimminals and our attempt to ‘help’ you by drugging you and subjecting you to 7 hours of interrogation whilst drugged without your knowledge with someone elses drugs and planting a knife on you for police might be seen as ….. vile. I mean they did discuss the possibility of police shooting me and decided that all care (due diligence) had been taken to ensure they were justified in killing me because I had a knife. Credit where credit is due.

        So refusing to speak with a person who is going to fabricate evidence to incarcerate you and force drug you means you can be drugged with a date rape drug without your knowledge and then subjected to an ‘acute stress reaction’ (ie police pointing weapons at you demanding your attention) in order to force you to speak to them during an interrogation. They then conceal the evidence that you have been spiked with a date rape drug and slander you with the ‘paranoid delusional’ label for claiming you have been spiked?
        Might I suggest a quick look at Article 1.1 of the Convention against the use of Torture at this point? The assault being the spiking. Its just so difficult to get people to speak to them when it is known they are ‘verballing’ statements and people are being wrongfully convicted and worse, ending up dribbling in a cell for no other reason that doctor wants it to be so.
        I also assume you know what I mean by ‘verballing’. The corrupt practice of completing sworn statements with 1% of the truth and being wreckless as to the truth knowing that it will mislead anyone examining the document. A breach of s.16 (1) of our Oaths, Affidavits and Statutory Declarations Act. Not that anyone round here has the slightest respect for the law. Its not even an obstacle to overcome anymore, just ignore it and it goes away.

      • Hi Beans,

        Under Alaska law, the person has to be examined within 24 hours of arrival and a commitment petition filed within 72 hours if they want to keep them longer than that. The railroad does tend to run on time.

        I don’t have the impression we have the type of corruption that you do.

        Take care,
        Jim

        • Hi Jam (just kidding),

          Yes, I understand that they need to be examined once delivered to the hospital, but my interest was more regarding the finger point in the first instance.
          So for example a psychologist who has not seen a person for 2 years can not simply call mental health services or police and request that they deliver the person to a hospital for an examination by a psychiatrist because they want it done. They would surely need to meet some form of burden? I know it states a ‘preponderance of evidence’, which in my instance was ‘man asleep in his bed, referred to mental health services’
          This in my instance was the reason for spiking and planting a knife and cannabis, because they were fully aware that they did not meet the burden and would be kidnapping/conspiring if the Community Nurse did their duty and reported the spiking to police. Lucky for them he was corrupt and would prefer to have his targets ‘set up’ with criminal conspiring. Its fascinating that once a person becomes a “patient” that this criminal conspiring becomes ‘medicine’ designed to ‘help’ the victim. Another discussion entirely.
          Glad to hear you don’t have this level of corruption where you are, it gives one hope that there are places where people do their duty and do not conceal the truth with falsehood because they Hate the truth. Quite shocking the things people will do for money to be honest
          I mean I don’t wish to be rude to the frauds given the things i’ve seen them do to people and call it medicine but…… if I wish to leave my wife its a decision I really don’t need to be examined by a psychiatrist for. I’d like to be able to walk out the door before she succeeds in planting the knife into my chest whilst I lay on a couch. She thinks otherwise and considers my decision a ‘mental illness’ that requires ‘treatment’ and hence the spiking and planting of a knife. Now I ask is this the person who should be allowed to make referrals? Or should she be allowed to pay a psychologist 200 to tell her how to ‘arrange’ a police referral? Because I can see a business venture here personally.
          You don’t wish to speak to a ‘mental health professional’ Boans, we are going to make you. Difficult to plant a knife on someone when awake so spike them first. This allows police to cause an ‘acute stress reaction’ by pointing weapons at you and whats the two things you SHOULD NOT DO to a person suffering an ‘acute stress reaction’? Give them benzos and force them to talk. Ie torture them. I did make it clear to the Community Nurse that I did not wish tospeak to him, but he has police to ‘assist’ him make me talk with tazers so ….. a little home delivered ECT loosens the lips.
          Glad the psychiatrist figured out there was nothing wrong with me instead of writing down the effects of the spiking as symptoms (like the SMO did) I would have thought the Community Nurse had a duty to inform the psychiatrist who examined me that I had been spiked with benzos, but he was of course concealing this fact from a number of people. And all of those involved in arranging the spiking not one of them has prescribing rights.
          All very confusing really, and fortunate that people are still falling for three card montes. Police are absolute stooges being used to do kidnappings for this guy effectively.
          AHPRA, no problems with this

          • Actually, above I make the statement

            It is fascinating that once a person becomes a “patient” that this criminal conspriring becomes ‘medicine’ designed to ‘help’ the victim”

            Our Mental Health Act has a clause that means that the “referred person” does not become a “patient” until they are examined by a psychiatrist and it is deemed that they need to be treated in a hospital. This supposed ‘legal protection’ is designed to ensure people are NOT treated as ‘”patients” until they are deemed to meet the criteria. But the folk at the hospital know how much of a rubber stamp process this is that they are into you boots and all before you even see a psychiatrist. It’s like they try to make you as sick as possible to ensure you meet the ‘standards’ (whatever that is). The “referred person” is to be held at the place where the examination can be done, but for the purposes of the Act is “not a patient”. Explicit not implied.
            Further problem for the people who snatched me from my bed, because I was NEVER a “patient”. Psychiatrist released me with no charge. But minus any effective legal representation they can continue to slander me and nothing will be done. Matters nought to me now, my life has been totally demolished (with malicious intent on the part of the hospital Operations Manager who did inform me she would ‘fuking destroy’ me for complaining. Little did I know the Law Centre ‘representing’ me was working with her)but its your families next.
            Patient, and wife beater. I guess i’d rather be falsely accused of being a “patient” and wife beater (with others knowing the truth) than be a fraud and a slanderer (with others knowing the truth).

        • Jim, I have known instances where this timeline was not followed. Maybe they do things by the book in Alaska, but in other locales, no. I have known people kept in emergency rooms well past three days with no paperwork. In other instances, patients have been lied to and told they were under section, when no such section papers existed.

          • Hi Julie,

            Actually, the last year they have been stashing people in jail and emergency rooms for days because they lost so many staff at the psych-prison they reduced the capacity from 80 to the low 20s. They said the clock didn’t start until people arrived at the psych hospital. A judge just ruled that illegal. See, https://www.adn.com/alaska-news/anchorage/2019/10/22/judge-orders-state-to-end-practice-of-holding-psychiatric-patients-in-jails-ers/

          • They do it all over, Jim, laws or no laws. I know people who were held like that. I recall being held at Boston Medical Center in a prison cell for three days, dehydrated and malnourished, while they scrambled to figure out what to do with me. Finally, they let me go since I didn’t “qualify” for anything at all. The prison shrink said I fell between the cracks and she threw up her hands in utter cluelessness. Thankfully, not one psych ward would take me. To this day, I don’t understand why, during those three days, I was completely denied any medical care. By then, I knew it wasn’t psychiatry that I needed.

          • They were pretty good with their times in my instance. Mind you I did start making complaints about Occupational health and Safety issues relating to their buildings. A water cooler that was obviously wired up to the electric giving people shocks when they touched it being a bit of a laugh in the smoking area. The things you do for entertainment in these places lol
            What they didn’t do was tell me that they could only hold me for 6 hours once I had asked to leave. A little negligence in their duty goes a long way at times. And I note they stamped my paperwork saying I had been informed of my ‘rights’ (what rights? You don’t really have any with frauds filling out paperwork like that) It was really fortunate that I did that anyway or else I would have been banged up for the weekend and probably had a ‘chemical restraint’ administered to silence me.
            I have seen them discharge people for a day and not tell them and then put them on forms again to be able to hold them for another year. Denies them access to the Tribunal, which in many cases is a kangaroo court anyway.

  11. Hi Jim,

    I have looked at our Mental Health Act and find this Section to be relevant to what I am asking.

    S.36 Detaining Referred Person in an Authorised Hospital.

    (3) being received into an authorised hospital under this section (s.29) is not admission for the purposes of this Act.

    A bit like being arrested and charged by police does not make one a “prisoner”. So in my instance I was never admitted to the authorised hospital and therefore NEVER a “patient” and this slander that is being distributed about me should end. Not the case though because then they would have to view the spiking and planting of evidence as criminal offences and they don’t like that narrative. They hate the truth that they are kidnappers and torturers, and by threatening and intimidating witnesses they don’t have to face the truth. One would imagine that given these matters have been investigated by some people with an understanding of the law someone would have noticed?
    That knocks down the “patient” straw man (slander) as far as i’m concerned,

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